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Reduction of the CO2 Footprint in Businesses through Solar Energy

2024-01-10

Reduction of the CO2 Footprint in Businesses through Solar Energy

In the corporate sector, as in private settings, solar energy proves to be a profitable, long-term investment if local conditions allow for the installation of solar panels. Besides financial benefits, a company's image is playing an increasingly significant role. Demonstrating environmental responsibility can provide companies with a competitive advantage. Being able to claim carbon-neutral production is a marketing opportunity that can translate into additional capital. This creates a win-win situation for both the company and the environment.

Apart from the mentioned advantages, there's another aspect to consider: employees. A company's commitment to social responsibility and sustainable energy production can be appealing to employees. In addition to the positive image, providing free charging stations for employee vehicles can be an added incentive. According to the Statistical Federal Office, for a professional commuter with an annual mileage of 3,434 kilometers, this translates to savings of about 300 euros, plus tax benefits for commuters, which amount to approximately 1,300 euros per year. This can be a significant selling point for companies in the competition for skilled workers. This illustrates that it can be beneficial for companies to think beyond mere production when considering solar investments and CO2 reductions. A well- understood and applied solar investment can have additional and quite interesting "side effects" that cost little but have a considerable impact on the company.

The Significance of Solar Energy for CO2 Reduction in the Business World

Most companies inherently benefit from working during daylight hours when the sun is shining. Other businesses can use storage technologies in conjunction with solar energy to have sufficient capacities during nighttime hours. As previously mentioned, solar energy and the associated CO2 reduction have a broad impact on various aspects. Solar energy is becoming increasingly attractive for businesses as solar technology continues to evolve, and module efficiency steadily increases. Beyond environmental goals that can enhance a company's image, cost reductions often play a more substantial role for economic enterprises. As solar installations prove to be a lucrative long-term investment for companies, building roofs, carports, and open spaces can be covered with solar panels. The overall energy efficiency in the entire industry is crucial. The higher the proportion of solar energy combined with battery storage technologies, the less dependence there is on fossil fuels, positively impacting Germany's location and competitiveness.

Practical Steps for Integrating Solar Energy in Businesses

To reduce energy costs and achieve CO2 reduction through solar energy, the following steps are necessary:

Determine Energy Needs: Assess the energy requirements and conduct a site analysis to see how much space is available for installing solar panels.

Financial Planning: Clarify financing by comparing financing and funding options. Evaluate the financial and funding opportunities.

Planning and Installation: Move from the preparatory phase to the planning and installation phases. The planning phase should also include maintenance and monitoring of the system.

Maintenance and Monitoring: Regular maintenance is essential to avoid breakdowns. Continuous monitoring ensures functionality and allows for immediate responses to any issues.

Cleaning the modules when necessary is a crucial part of maintenance to prevent shading. Whether an automatic cleaning system is cost-effective depends on the individual case.

Case Study: Successful Implementation of Solar Energy in Industry

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE published a study titled "Solar Offensive – How We Unleash an Economic Boom with Solar Energy and Protect the Climate". This study assumes a significant opportunity for the industry to meet its energy needs with solar energy, thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions. An example provided was a project by IBC Solar, involving the installation of a carport solar system with a self-consumption rate of over 80 percent.

Long-term Benefits and ROI of Solar Investments for Companies

Companies reap benefits in various areas. The most important advantage for most companies is cost reduction through energy savings and the associated planning security by being less dependent on the public power grid and its hard-to-predict cost developments. Considering the electricity price trend over recent decades and taking into account the overall economic situation nationally and internationally, investing in own power production is an investment in the future security of the company. Excess energy can also be sold, as installations often produce more electricity than needed, especially on non-working days or during order fluctuations. Those investing in renewable energy often benefit from tax advantages and other state incentive programs. Image improvement was mentioned in the first part. It's noteworthy that the positive image not only affects customers but also the company's own employees. Lastly, investing in future technologies is always associated with an increase in property value.

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