With the threat of climate change looming, the pressure is on for people to include environmental protection into their agenda. It also holds true for corporations, with an ever-increasing number adhering to the tenets of corporate sustainability.
Aside from fulfilling the responsibility of taking care of the environment, companies are now considering renewable technologies as reliable, cost-efficient systems that can compete and even surpass conventional power systems.
At the forefront of this revolution in advanced energy systems is solar power. The invention of photovoltaic cells, which directly convert light into electricity, enabled the world to tap into the vast energy that the sun provides. While all of this may sound like science fiction, solar technology is a mature and established industry. Companies stand to obtain several advantages when they switch to solar power, such as cost savings, reduced maintenance requirements, and environmental advocacy.
Most solar energy systems are passive and require very minimal maintenance, so operating costs are negligible. The energy source itself, the sun, is free to use. Hence, capital costs make up practically all of the expenses associated with solar energy.
Solar energy systems can drastically reduce your dependence on the electric grid, and in some cases, you can even sell extra power you produce. Think of it as mainly a one-time investment that will allow you to reduce or even eliminate your electricity costs drastically.
The photovoltaic cells used for solar power systems used to be very expensive. However, silicon, the main element used to create these cells, has consistently become cheaper within the last decade. Corresponding capital costs have dropped accordingly, with solar power even achieving grid parity with conventional technologies in some areas. Renewable solar sources can now produce cheaper electricity than coal or other traditional sources.
Robust And Flexible Infrastructure
Photovoltaic cells typically do not have moving parts and are robust against degradation by sunlight. Because of this, solar power systems usually have 25-year warranties, and such systems can operate for 25-40 years.
In optimum conditions, companies using these systems will reduce their dependence on the electric grid without paying maintenance and managing fees for this entire period, translating into huge savings concerning both time and resources.
In addition, solar technologies are scalable, so companies are free to decide whether to apply it to certain building sections only or to implement them in all of their branches. However, solar technologies become cheaper when applied to large-scale projects due to economies of scale. Large corporations specifically stand to benefit from solar energy systems, and in fact, many Fortune 500 companies already use solar technologies.
Companies that shift to solar power can help reduce their environmental impact. Solar energy technologies have tiny carbon footprints, helping curb the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that is accelerating global warming. Unlike fossil fuels, photovoltaic cells also do not emit fumes and other pollutants, so using them is an excellent way to prevent air pollution from worsening.
Companies can include solar power in their energy portfolio as part of their corporate sustainability initiatives. Aside from the positive environmental impact, this can also improve bottom lines. As societies become more environmentally-conscious, supporting environmental advocacies can increase your customer base. Many countries also offer incentives such as tax cuts to green businesses.
With substantial economic and environmental advantages, corporations stand to benefit from solar technologies. Hopefully, more companies move towards solar power, so that more companies and the entire world can reap the benefits of sustainable living. It may seem like something attainable from the distant future, but with solar technology, the future can happen now.