SMEs account for over 90% of the number of businesses in the world and provide jobs for more than half of the working population. They also play an important role in the economies of both industrialized and developing countries by commonly accounting for up to 50% of their gross domestic product. Still a large share of the SMEs’ process heat demand is met by fossil fuels and the cost of energy can be a substantial part of their total production costs. Why?

For several industrial applications, more than 50% of energy consumption can be provided through a portfolio of renewable energy technologies including biomass, solar thermal systems, geothermal and heat pumps.

Renewable energy can provide a low cost reliable resource for many SMEs, especially if they have high energy expenditures. Furthermore, the availability of different technologies can provide flexibility to SMEs to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels.

Three-quarters of the SMEs are located in developing countries where large renewable energy resources exist. Given these unique potential, SMEs can play a crucial role in the development of local industries using renewable energy technologies.

Renewables could supply four-fifths of the world’s electricity by 2050, massively cutting carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change – International Renewable Energy Agency.

Usually various barriers exist to the deployment of the latest energy technologies, such as:

  • Know-how: only few SMEs know how they can reduce their dependence on expensive fossil fuels
  • Resources: they often do not have the resources to negotiate preferential energy prices
  • Equipment: most production capacity is based on ageing and inefficient equipment.

These barriers need to be eliminated by developing effective strategies. Moreover, due to the sheer number of SME businesses, the deployment of renewable energy technologies could lead to the development of renewable energy equipment along the supply chain and encourage learning by doing.

The low absolute energy demand per plant in most SMEs, as well as the varying temperature levels of process heat use, offer the opportunity to take advantage of the range of renewable energy technologies available. Biomass, solar, geothermal, heat pumps can all be deployed in SMEs.

Braver Corporation is a world class Brazilian company specialized in sustainable foreign trade and international affairs. We believe and invest in the renewable energy technology as key for the construction of mostly productive, sustainable and efficient businesses all over the world.

Author

Braver is a world-class foreign trade and international affairs company based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We are pioneering in applying the concept of sustainability to foreign trade projects. We offer high-quality premium products and services all over the world.