Climate change is happening, and the consequences it may bring are gnawing at the back of our minds. It’s vital to make conscious decisions to help keep the earth healthy and switching to renewable energy is the single most important thing we can do to ensure this. In many parts of the world, renewable energy solutions are growing rapidly, with solar rooftops among them.
Solar rooftops can power our activities just like any other energy source, but the carbon footprint of solar is negligible compared to coal-fired power plants. Solar rooftops also offer a wide range of perks that are most prominent for businesses and manufacturers.
Offset operational costs
Businesses that use solar rooftops are protected from annual price increases imposed by major suppliers. Those in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) contract with Shire Oak International, for example, enjoy energy prices that are guaranteed to be less than those of national providers. And, even more exciting than making savings, businesses can even earn money with a solar rooftop by selling energy it generates but doesn’t use back to the national grid.
Leases usually last between 15 and 20 years, after which ownership of the system is transferred to the customer. Shire Oak International calculates that manufacturers in Vietnam can save up to USD $4 million (VNĐ 93.2 billion) in energy costs over a 20-year lease.
Depending on several variable factors, including location, the time that energy is used, the type of industry it is used for and the size of the facility using it, the cost reduction of implementing a solar rooftop may differ.
Most of the time, businesses that will benefit the most from switching to solar are those with enough roof space to install a system with the appropriate capacity, enough sun hours to make use of the system, and a load profile that requires energy at peak hours.
Moreover, having a source to power of their own means businesses can save on the charges that are applied by electricity providers to recover the costs of purchasing energy during times of heaviest load, maintaining power lines, and the energy that gets lost in the transmission system. At the same time, businesses avoid losing energy due to resistance in long-distance power transmission lines.
One of our clients in Vietnam, BOHO Décor, also reported that the operating temperatures in their factory dropped by 5 to 7°C after installing a Shire Oak International solar rooftop, which reduced their dependence on expensive and polluting air conditioning units. This result might be due to the shade that photovoltaic panels provide for a rooftop.
Improve brand image
As the realities of climate change become clearer, consumers – particularly young people – are becoming more and more environmentally conscious. This means that businesses focused on sustainable development now have a competitive advantage over those that do not.
Going solar will also increase your firm’s attractiveness as an environmentally-friendly business partner. Many organizations are developing corporate sustainability goals that call for doing business with like-minded organizations.
Not only that, by powering activities with clean energy, businesses can not only reduce electricity costs –which frees up financial resources to re-invest in business development and innovation – but also earn international recognition such as LEED certification for green building design, or awards like the Green Power Leadership Awards. And the possibilities don’t stop there! Talented architects and builders can make solar rooftops a complementary part of your building design, which can enhance your brand image even further.
Giving back to the economy
Aside from providing more opportunities for your business to invest and grow, solar rooftops also create more jobs in the wider economy. The National Solar Jobs Census conducted by The Solar Foundation concluded that around 242,000 solar workers are providing affordable, clean, renewable energy across the United States.
The coal mining industry in the US can only employ a third of the number of people that the solar energy industry is employing. Furthermore, the solar industry doesn’t just power facilities – it supports local development as well. Evidence shows that early 70% of money spent on solar contractors or solar installers goes back into the local economy.
In Vietnam, according to a recent report from the World Bank, the expansion in solar capacity could generate as many as 25,000 new jobs every year to 2030, and another 20,000 jobs in the manufacturing of solar equipment for the global market.
The World Bank adds that the deployment of new solar generation will also be a critical factor for the Government of Vietnam to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate change target and reduce its need for new coal power generation.
In short, the benefits of solar rooftops for businesses are plentiful. If you would like to explore how you might gain from installing a solar system on your building, get in touch with us: we will gladly give you a tour!