Fighting climate change while saving money thanks to solar power

Fighting climate change while saving money thanks to solar power
March 17, 2015 Bradley Cox

Global News guest column by Cleanplant

Cleanplant_image[2]Solar power has been widely recognized as one of the solutions to climate change, as well as a financially sound alternative for energy production and consumption. Using the free energy of the sun to generate electricity helps to contribute to the sustainability movement and to simultaneously cut monthly electricity bill.

During the day, solar panels generate electricity which can be directly used by hotels and resorts for lighting, ACs, as well as for the energy needs of the kitchen, restaurant, laundry and swimming-pool. A solar power system’s specific design depends on space availability and personal preferences. It can be a ground-mounted system (ramming solutions or foundation-based / pole-based) or a roof-mounted system (e.g. for pitched metal sheeting or flat roofs with ballast solutions). Once the design is finalized, all components are ordered and shipped worldwide. The shipment takes 2 to 3 months and the installation requires 1 to 2 weeks. Maintenance associated with solar power systems is minimal with only one annual cleaning needed for the panels. Since solar power systems are easily scalable, the system size can be extended at any time.

The electricity generated by solar panels is initially used by the hotel or resort and in most countries any excess electricity is automatically supplied to the grid in return for financial compensation. Thereby you buy less electricity at the utility and you also generate revenues by feeding electricity back into the grid. Cost reduction combined with revenue generation typically lowers electricity costs by around 75% and achieves a payback periods of 4 to 5 years. Switching to solar therefore turns energy from an expense into a source of income, especially in regions where electricity prices can unpredictably increase to high levels (such as islands). Furthermore, where local electricity costs are higher and the sun’s radiation stronger, the payback period becomes shorter.

In the context of global warming, it has become crucial to address the increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – recognized as a primary cause of climate change. Solutions exist and green energy is one of them. By generating green energy, solar power systems decrease dependence on fossil fuels and thereby carbon emissions. By using the free energy of the sun you will not only improve the sustainability of your hotel but also actively contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions.

Cleanplant is a certified Green Globe  member and preferred partner dedicated to supporting all members in switching to clean energy.

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