According to data provided by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association and Advanced Energy Economy, global energy consumption is projected to rise nearly 40% by 2030. Due to the rapid expansion of energy needs, companies are adapting by offering alternative energy solutions.

“Energy is a big component because it touches both the economy and job creation,” said Michele Halsell, Managing Director of the Applied Sustainability Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Part of expanding advanced energy involves businesses listening to the needs of consumers and adapting their product lines accordingly. Jerry McCormick, Director of Administration and Operations at NextGen Illumination in Fayetteville, says that is exactly what his company did.

“We listened to what poultry farmers needed,” McCormick said. As a result, NextGen was able to create and manufacture efficient LED lighting that allowed Lincoln poultry farmer Gene Pharr to save $5,000 a year in electricity bills. Not only did save Pharr money that he can reinvest in his business, but the lights used on his poultry farm created high paying jobs right here in Arkansas.

State and local leaders, and an increasing number of consumers are open to advanced energy solutions. In a survey conducted by J.Z. Analytics for the Advanced Energy Economy, 88% of Arkansas residents surveyed said that they think it is important to the state economy to manufacture advanced energy products, such as wind turbine components, right here at home.