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Solar power technology has become increasingly accessible and a popular energy solution for businesses, cities, campuses, and residences in the last few years. You can hear more and more people talking about installing solar panels. Though the idea sounds intriguing, how beneficial is it for office and business use? Solar power offers a bunch of advantages, but you can’t make an effective decision without analyzing the cost-benefit ratio.
● Renewable resources
Solar energy is endlessly available without any shortage concerns. With this renewable resource at hand, businesses can not only sustain their energy needs but also store solar power for later use – though you would need to get sufficient batteries for solar power storage.
● Negligible environmental impact
Fossil fuel energy is not only limited, it also creates air and water pollution, whilst damaging natural ecosystems. Solar power uses renewable materials and produces negligible emissions during the manufacturing process. Using solar power, you can improve your CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as a business. Consumers are more focused on sustainable practices, so this would also benefit your brand perception.
By using a solar power source, businesses can run their factories without worrying about power shortages or maintenance issues at the utility provider’s end. Solar panels barely need any maintenance for years, and usually, come with a performance warranty. In fact, the failure rate of solar panels is reported as only 0.05%.
● Reduces Energy Bills
With solar power, you’re cutting down on your energy costs which lets you invest finances in other areas of your business. By using solar energy, you can fulfill operational needs as well as power your heating and cooling systems. Electricity from fossil fuels can be unreliable and expensive depending on social and political situations. This can greatly increase the financial burden on your business.
Solar power, on the other hand, is a free and abundant resource. In fact, with solar energy research and technology developing, the initial costs are expected to decline even further.
● Infrastructure Relief
With growing populations and technology, there is a higher demand for electric power providers. Utility companies are often urging users to limit power usage during peak hours, and even implementing rolling blackouts to reduce stress on the electrical grid.
By moving to solar power, businesses can reduce the strain on infrastructure, as well as lower the costs of the cities where their facilities are located – contributing to a favorable relationship with the city and to a better local economy.
● Energy Independence
You no longer need to rely on a utility provider for electricity, you can sustain your energy requirements on your own by setting up an off-grid solar panel system. This also gives you more room to increase your energy consumption, especially since it’s a replaceable resource. In case you produce a surplus of solar energy, you can even export it to the grid and receive credits for it.
● Tax Benefits
Businesses in the US can now claim 30% of the total cost for their solar photovoltaic system. This is a solar investment tax credit that acts as an incentive for companies to go green. There are also grant programs that provide financial assistance to small businesses in their solar power adoption and installation process.
● Energy Efficiency
Even though solar energy is renewable and limitless, switching to this resource encourages businesses to adopt smart energy consumption practices. They are able to focus on the best ways to produce the most electricity without using a lot of resources, such as materials and space. Moreover, solar users can use fully integrated lighting systems for increased durability and efficient energy operation.
● Space Requirements
Solar panels and solar thermals take up a lot of space, especially if you are a business with high energy requirements. If you have a small to medium-sized business, you will need to install around 70 panels so you can be entirely independent.
Regardless of how much energy you need, your business should have enough space and not be surrounded by taller buildings that block off the sun. Not every business has sufficient roof space to generate a good amount of electricity.
● High Initial Cost
Solar panel systems are notoriously expensive in terms of purchase and installation. The initial setup can put a great dent in your financial budget. You would also need to pay to get the permit and inspection done. It’s difficult to predict how much you would actually end up spending without checking the payment plans of different companies in your area.
● Unavailable At Night
Though solar power is a reliable source, it isn’t present all day long or during cloudy weather. Depending on where you live, your solar power production might be negligible during the winter. Even though batteries help you use solar power when the sun isn’t out, solar storage is very costly.
● Moving Is a Pain
If you change your business building, it’s unlikely that your solar contractor will cover the installation and de-installation costs. Most people want to avoid the hassle and tend to transfer their solar contract to the new owners of their old buildings. But obviously, this depends on whether the next person is willing.
Should You Get It?
Solar power has countless benefits for businesses and the environment. The best way to decide whether the benefits outweigh the costs is by evaluating your energy needs and your financial capacity to produce sufficient solar power for your business. It is definitely worth looking into and can help you lower your business overhead costs in the long run.