Renewable, green, clean energy is all the rage. Some people love it because of its environmentally sound approach to energy and power production, and some love it because it represents a sort of mini Industrial Revolution. After all, there’s money to be made, and all you need is the sun! Personal motivations aside, renewable energy are “in” in a big way. In fact, it’s the fastest growing source of power generation, with estimates placing it firmly in second place overall by 2016. Coal, unsurprisingly, retains the top spot, but for how long? Renewable energy sources like hydroelectric plants, geothermal energy, and so on are already generating more than ten percent of the United States’ energy output, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, those figures are only going to rise. This trend, of course, has not gone unnoticed or unheeded in the business world. In fact, the travel industry (and hotels in particular) is rapidly repainting itself in shades of green. Read on to learn some of the truly unique ways in which hotels and other travel spots have gone green.
One of the most innovative ways hotels are going green is through the re-use and recycling of their own waste. India’s Jai Mahal Palace, for instance, now offers tours of its biogas plant to guests. This biofuel provides energy while simultaneously cutting costs. Its source, Jai Mahal’s own garden and kitchen waste.
Going green may be a relatively new idea, but geothermal energy has been around for a long time. The ancients in almost every culture where hot springs were available used them for recreation, as centers of health, and so forth. The Peppermill Resort, Spa, and Casino in Reno, Nevada, though, have put a new spin on things. The entirety of their heat is furnished via a 12,000 GPM (gallons per minute) geothermal system located on the property. This, according to sources close to the hotel, has resulted in savings of approximately two million USD per annum.
THE BEAUTY OF BIODIESEL
Most people in the United States have had that one summer job that involved one phrase more than any other: “Would you like fries with that?” Well, now all that grease has grown up too, and it’s a hit in the renewable energy community. Rather than throwing out old frying grease and similar substances, which promotes waste and harms the environment, it has come to be used as a source of energy. It is known, appropriately enough, as Biodiesel, and some major players are reaping the rewards of its use. Just take the Houston complex of the Hilton Americas hotel chain. Not only is it the largest hotel in Texas, but the Hilton is also a green pioneer, having been the first hotel in the state to gain Green Seal status. In conjunction with other alternative fuels, biodiesel has helped this Hilton to reduce its greenhouse emissions by nearly 80%.
SPREAD A LITTLE SUNSHINE
Perhaps the best-known source of alternative energy is solar power, and even with the rise in other sources of such power, the sun refuses to be eclipsed. Indeed, the Moonrise Hotel is busy installing a ceiling for their newest event space made entirely of a solar energy grid. They estimate that it will provide more than thirty thousand kilowatt hours of power each year.
HUFFING & PUFFING
Wind power is another well-known source of green energy, and hotels both big and small are eagerly adopting ways to harvest that power. The Hilton location at Fort Lauderdale, FL, for example, currently boasts a six-turbine wind farm on its roof, with many a comment (and deep savings in the energy department!) as a result. Locations across the country have plans to follow suit shortly.
With such a rightly placed emphasis by so many world leaders on protecting the Earth’s fragile environmental systems, the use of green energy has taken a massive upturn. Whether a facility is in the desert of the U.S where millions of people travel each year or in the mountains of Switzerland, industry leaders are finding innovative ways to go green. With the travel industry’s ever-growing involvement in the alternative energy market, the future, with every pun intended, looks bright indeed.