Many business owners today have switched to solar panels for their energy source. If you're thinking of doing the same, the insights in this post might serve as your guide in evaluating the benefits of this project.
Global Usage of Solar Panels: Quick Statistics
Recent research done by Renergy shows that the solar panel market is growing consistently around the world. And it is poised to grow and become even more lucrative due to the recent launch of government incentives and affordable products.
In another study done by Zion Market Research, forecasts show that the solar panel market is set to reach US$57.3 billion by 2022. As of 2016, the industry was valued at USD 30.8 billion in the U.S. alone. And within 2017 – 2022, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the industry is 10.9%.
As of 2019, the total capacity of all installed solar PV units is 116,900 MW, 7.8% of which comes from Germany. The world's largest solar PV power plant, which is in China, has a capacity of 4.5 GW. Although solar technology only accounts for 1% of the world's global energy generation, it's actually worth 14 billion USD in global investments. The U.S. alone imports $1144m worth of solar panels and cells from China.
Perks of Using Solar Panels for Commercial Buildings
These numbers are reasons enough to encourage entrepreneurs to consider this option. And many company owners who've been using solar panels can also attest to the following benefits of this move on their business.
1. Lower the operating cost
Some might argue that the initial installation of panels is expensive. But most solar panel systems come with a 25 to 35-year warranty, which also means 2 to 3 decades of free energy source. This translates into huge savings for the company. And in most cases, 3 to 7 years of using the panels can pay off the initial investment. Non-profit organizations can also avail of the Power Purchase Agreement wherein they'll sign a long-term contract at a fixed rate with the solar energy provider.
2. Control and lower energy bills
On average, in the U.S., commercial properties report an astounding 75% decrease in their energy cost after going solar. A monthly electric bill of $1,950 can go down to as low as $500 after using solar tech. On top of that savings, most solar-powered commercial buildings also report steady energy usage, unlike the usually unpredictable fluctuations of traditional energy cost. This makes budgeting easier as owners know how much they're going to pay for the electricity bill.
3. Enjoy tax credits
Several countries have also implemented tax credits for companies using solar energy. Although policies differ from one country to another, one of the aims of this tax scheme is to attract more investors and users of renewable energy. In the US, for instance, there was a 52% growth in solar panel usage since the enactment of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in 2006. This tax scheme gives 26% tax credit to both commercial (under Sec. 48) and residential (under Sec. 25D) properties using solar energy systems.
4. Improve the company's branding and sustainability rating
Using solar panels is an effective way to market your company as an eco-friendly and sustainable business. Unlike coal-powered energy sources with high carbon emission, solar panels rely on sunlight, a renewable power source. This alone significantly lowers your company's carbon footprint. Massive and long-term use of this clean energy source also lowers atmospheric pollution, which could be an effective marketing campaign you can pitch to your stakeholders.
5. Reduce resources for maintenance
Solar cells come with tempered, protective glass covers and non-corrosive aluminum frames. And these are built to stand the test of time and environmental elements. Besides, manufacturers usually offer a 25-year warranty for their products. And the only thing you might need to spend on is ongoing maintenance and cleaning.
6. Increase the value of the property
Knowing that the initial investment for solar panels isn't cheap, having these at your property means adding value. Besides, who wouldn't want to buy a building that's poised to help a business save cost on maintenance and electricity bills, right? Plus, with eco-friendly and energy-efficient properties now in high demand, you could also sell your building faster.
These are merely some of the reasons why over 100 of the Fortune 500 businesses, including Apple, Walmart, and IKEA, opt to install solar panels. Yes, it might take quite a long time to fully transition a building to being partially to fully dependent on solar power. But it's worth the effort. And it's not impossible. Entrepreneurs can rely on the recent decrease in the cost of installation and products. Plus, the cash rebates and attractive tax incentives they can enjoy just by using this energy-efficient technology.
Ultimately, research done by (Renergy) shows that the use of solar panels has become a viable option for many commercial property owners for various reasons. Aside from its positive impact on ROI and cash flow, using sunlight as an energy source could also boost the marketing efforts, stakeholder relations, marketability, and corporate social responsibility rating of a company. And all these will contribute to the revenue of the business.