Energy, Industry Updates
Article | July 29, 2022
The company behind famous Australian wine brands including Penfolds and Wolf Blass is embracing solar energy in a big way.
ASX-listed Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is one of the world’s largest wine companies and has an ambition to be the “world’s most admired premium wine company”. A powerful way to win consumer hearts, minds (and wallets) these days is to have a strong focus on sustainability.
As part of its sustainability mission, wines in TWE’s portfolio will be produced using 100% renewable electricity by 2024. In a step towards this renewables goal in Australia, approximately 9,500 solar panels will be installed at Barossa Winery and Production Centre in South Australia, and Karadoc Winery in Victoria by the end of this year.
Collectively, the solar panels will generate more than 5,500 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to supply the equivalent of 900 homes. Total capacity wasn’t mentioned, but given the annual output, I’d estimate it at around 3.75 MW.
Article | July 15, 2022
Earth has become increasingly warmer every year with rising temperatures. The burning of fossil fuels in the past 150 years for electricity, heat, transportation, and any other human activity has increased greenhouse emissions. Other natural resources are also rapidly depleting, thus giving us a cause of worry.
Several homeowners and mainly businesses are, therefore, turning to renewable energy sources to become self-sustainable and self-reliant. Costs of commercial electricity are rising day by day with no end in sight. By turning to green energy, businesses can reduce operational costs and reinvest that amount back into their businesses.
If your business uses electricity for lighting, HAVC, computing, or production, opting solar for businesses will significantly reduce the cost. Installing these solar panels and combining them with an appropriate energy storage system, your business can save up to 20 to 25% energy and move towards energy independence.
Eligibility for Going Solar
One of the major factors to consider when going solar is whether it makes sense for your business to do so. Apart from this, going solar would be ideal for organizations that:
Work in states like California, Hawaii, or any state that either has expensive energy or massive Federal incentives
Have enough land, rooftops, or parking lots adjoining their businesses where the solar panels can Be set up
Have prioritized sustainability
Have massive energy demands
Market themselves as an environmentally friendly business
Reasons to Use Solar Power for Businesses
Growing businesses opt for investing in commercial solar power mainly to aid in offsetting additional expenses. With the expansion of the business, electricity consumption will also increase. You can also time your roof repairs or new constructions to coincide with installing new solar panels. Transforming into a business that chooses to become carbon-neutral by utilizing solar energy will enhance your business image in the community.
Implementing commercial solar panels cuts down your energy consumption and helps increase your savings. Excess energy generated by these solar panels can be stored with the help of off-grid batteries. Solar energy has a major drawback. Your company won't be powered at night or in severe weather conditions as solar only works during the day. Solar energy cannot handle the sudden power surges required to handle heavy machinery. Businesses are then forced to purchase and use commercial electricity to manage these spikes. However, these spikes can prove to be expensive. Merging photovoltaic systems with storage solutions can ease these spikes. This is vital during the "shoulder" hours when the sudden surge spikes can lead to demand charges.
Benefits of Going Solar
Reduction in Costs
The single biggest advantage of going solar is a massive reduction in electricity bills. Locations where 'net metering' is available can become another source of revenue for your business as the excess power produced can be sold to your local utility. Businesses, and companies that rely on out of date energy sources like coal, could be paying 7 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), whereas those using solar energy were paying between 2 to 12 cents per kWh.
The benefits of switching to solar depend on several factors- locations, industry, and business size. The most advantageous enterprises would be the ones who have built an appropriately sized system to cover all energy requirements and enough power to fall back on during peak consumption hours.
Businesses can incur additional charges due to demand and delivery. Utility services apply these charges to recover costs of purchasing energy and maintaining power lines and energy lost in the transmission system. Moving power sources closer to your business will help you avoidsuch preventable expenses.
There are possibilities of ascension in solar energy projects. You can start with a smaller set of solar panels that would contribute to your daily energy needs and build it over time. You can always sell the excess energy produced to your local utility provider as a source of additional revenue.
Federal Tax Incentives
As of 2021, the investment tax credit (ITC) allows businesses to deduct 22 percent of the cost of installing solar energy systems from their federal tax with no cap on its value. These businesses are eligible for the tax incentive as long as they have their energy system. I'f youdon't have enough tax liability to claim the credit that year, the outstanding credits would roll over to the next year, so long the tax credit is in effect.
Like every other power source, solar has its limitations too. The infrastructure that can consume excess solar power is not yet up to the mark. Since solar is tied to the grid, they are interdependent. If the grid fails, solar goes down too. Therefore, it is important to add a microgrid to the energy system.
Adding a micro-grid detaches your business from the utility providers and makes it independent of their services. It makes your organization what is known as an 'energy island'. The existence of these energy islands only protects your enterprise from power cuts due to natural disasters or any physical or hacking attacks. Your energy islands may also provide electricity to your local community during emergencies.
Solar energy has a massive role to play in the future of sustainability and environmental protection. By converting your business into a solar-powered business, you ensure the protection of the environment and reduce your company's carbon footprint on the planet. Studies also indicate that using solar energy for a long time also reduces utility costs. You can then invest the saved amount back into your business to promote advancements and innovations.
Being a solar-powered business could be an alluring prospect for your potential business partners. Environment-inclined customers tend to turn to prefer "responsibly green" businesses, and these businesses also appease local and state regulators, governments, and hedge funds.
Lower Maintenance Cost
Another major reason solar power is beneficial for your business is low to zero maintenance of the installed solar panels. Agencies that provide solar panels offer a warranty of 20 to 25 years on them. Since solar panels have fewer movable parts, the chances of these parts disintegrating or rusting are highly unlikely as opposed to technology that relies on movable parts. Thus, switching to solar energy would be the appropriate step to take for your business.
Things to Keep in Mind when Switching to Solar
When investing in solar energy, there are a few imperatives that businesses must follow. No matter the size, your business must be located where there is adequate sunlight, a roof strong enough to sustain the panels, and be inclined to reduce the cost of all operations.
There are various simple 'do-it-'yourself' kits launched in the market to entice small business owners to try and build these solar systems themselves.
However, it is essential to work with a solar provider when installing solar panels to get the best outcome—as in any industrial field, consulting with a solar power expert would help you optimize costs and gain maximum benefits.
Points to Explore Before Going Solar
Amount of Electricity Consumed
There are two main points to ponder over; "enough for one day" and "future years to come”. You could either sell excess energy produced to your local electricity supplier, which would add to your savings, or it could be stored with the help of li-ion batteries and utilized in the time of little to no sunshine.
Financing Solar Power for Businesses
Commercial solar power providers offer multiple business plans that would be best suited to the scale of your business. You can choose the better alternative for your business depending on how much discretionary cash you have and your solar infrastructure size. The size of the infrastructure will also depend on whether you want to gain dramatic results in terms of cost-saving or opt for low-cost start-ups and gain a more extended return on investment.
Some enterprises buy solar equipment with cash or loans. This method would give you tax credits and incentives, thus offering you a higher return on investment (ROI).
Another direction you could choose is going into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a solar energy provider and purchasing electricity from them at a lesser commercial cost. In a PPA, the developer looks after designing, permissions, financing, and installing the system for a meager amount.
Details of your precise business requirements are vital to analyze the cost and time of ROI of the solar energy system. It would depend on the place you are at and the size of your system. To get these exact details, hire the best solar energy consultant for your exact needs.
Important Steps to Remember
Outline your goals for a stable, sustainable, and financially sound future. Make sure that going solar is beneficial for your business. Calculate whether your region's utility costs are higher and hurt your business financially; whether there is ample storage space around your business to keep all the equipment. And whether adopting a green profile improves your goodwill in your local community.
Collect data on your electricity usage of at least one year to analyze the operating cost, energy spikes, and consumption patterns. Calculating business losses will aid in understanding the need to switch to solar energy.
Tie up with a commercial solar specialist when making the switch to solar energy. Often, customers fail to recognize the importance of this step. Avoid contractors who set up solar panels as a side business as they would not understand the intricacies of the job. Check all the references before you partner up with a specialist.
Last thing to keep in mind is thatgetting a solutions provider would make things easier for you. The provider will take care of everything- designing the system, finances, grid connection, and system maintenance. Ensure that you have a provider with sound support and has a portfolio of proven experience in solar infrastructure per your business needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does solar cost?
Ten years ago, the cost of a residential solar system was upwards of $50,000 for an average of 6 kilowatt-hour. Now, with a 62% average annual decrease, it ranges anywhere between $16,200 to $21,000.
How does commercial solar work?
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) panels in a grid-like pattern that captures sunlight and converts it into electricity. The PV cells are made up of silicon with a positive and negative field that creates an electric field.
Are commercial solar panels worth it?
Commercial solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years. Although solar panels cost a lot initially, over the years, utility cost of your business will go down. There are also tax credits and incentives that the government offers when installing solar panels.
"name": "How much does solar cost?",
"text": "Ten years ago, the cost of a residential solar system was upwards of $50,000 for an average of 6 kilowatt-hour. Now, with a 62% average annual decrease, it ranges anywhere between $16,200 to $21,000."
"name": "How does commercial solar work?",
"text": "Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) panels in a grid-like pattern that captures sunlight and converts it into electricity. The PV cells are made up of silicon with a positive and negative field that creates an electric field."
"name": "Are commercial solar panels worth it?",
"text": "Commercial solar panels have a lifespan of 25-30 years. Although solar panels cost a lot initially, over the years, utility cost of your business will go down. There are also tax credits and incentives that the government offers when installing solar panels."
Solar+Storage, Strategy and Best Practices
Article | September 17, 2022
Discover top events shaping the future of solar power. These solar conventions and events in 2023 bring together experts and industry leaders to explore groundbreaking technologies and foster collaboration.
In an era marked by environmental concerns and the urgent need to transition towards sustainable energy sources, the global focus on solar power has never been more critical. As the global community endeavors to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, the significance of exploring innovative solutions and fostering knowledge exchange in this field becomes increasingly apparent. Attending top solar events dedicated to solar power and renewable energy is an exceptional opportunity for professionals, researchers, policymakers, and enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the latest advancements, industry trends, and groundbreaking technologies. This article delves into some of the top solar events that are a must-attend for anyone passionate about solar power and renewable energy. These events serve as hubs of inspiration, collaboration, and education, driving the renewable energy sector forward and shaping a sustainable future for generations to come.
1.Global Energy Show Exhibition & Conference
June 11 - 13, 2024 | Calgary (Canada)
The Global Energy Show is a leading B2B exhibition and conference that brings together industry buyers, sellers, stakeholders, partners, CEOs, and young professionals to foster knowledge sharing and fuel innovation in the ever-changing energy landscape. This event will serve as an inclusive platform encompassing all energy systems, providing features on the exhibition floor and conference sessions dedicated to oil sands, hydrogen, wind, solar, petrochemicals, gas and LNG, electrification, and nuclear energy. This inclusive approach will ensure that attendees gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities present in the global energy sector. The event's comprehensive program tackles various topics, including meeting energy demand, navigating the energy transition, showcasing cutting-edge technology and innovation, and exploring the role of various energy sources within the broader energy system. By attending the Global Energy Show in 2024, energy professionals can play an active role in leading the path toward sustainably meeting energy demands.
2.ES 2023 (17th International Conference on Energy Sustainability)
July 10 - 12, 2023 | Washington D.C. (USA)
The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Energy Sustainability Conference serves as a focal point for identifying innovative technologies, research advancements, and design solutions that contribute to developing renewable and sustainable energy systems. The conference will focus on various topics, including utility-level systems integration, aiming to create a path toward a more sustainable energy future. Participating researchers will have the opportunity to present their high-quality papers, which will be considered for selection in a special issue dedicated to Energy Sustainability by the ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology (JERT) and ASME Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities. This ensures that groundbreaking research and design advancements receive recognition and dissemination in esteemed publications. ES2023 will feature keynote and plenary speakers, as well as panelists from national labs, the Department of Energy, and renowned researchers from universities worldwide. These experts will bring invaluable insights and perspectives to the conference, fostering knowledge exchange and inspiring collaboration among attendees.
3.IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting 2023
July 16 - 20, 2023 | Orlando (Florida)
The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) General Meeting (GM) stands as the premier annual event in the power and electrical engineering field, dedicated to meeting the energy needs of a dynamic world. This highly anticipated gathering will bring together over 3000 leading PES members, power and electrical engineers, prominent academics, and engineering students from around the globe. With a rich history dating back to 1964, when IEEE PES held separate winter and summer meetings, the GM has evolved into a single consolidated event since 2003. It has been a vital platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and networking among professionals in the field. By hosting the GM, IEEE PES aims to create an international forum that promotes networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among experts in the field. The event will serve as a platform to discuss vital issues, explore progressive developments, and address the challenges and opportunities in electrical and power engineering.
4.Global Summit and Expo on Sustainable and Renewable Energy (GSESRE2023)
August 28 - 30, 2023, | London (UK)
The 2nd Global Summit and Expo on Sustainable and Renewable Energy (GSESRE2023) aims to bring together renowned researchers, scientists, and scholars from around the world to foster knowledge exchange, present cutting-edge research works, and engage in discussions on the latest topics in the field of sustainable and renewable energy. This 3-day summit will gather key players in the sustainable and renewable energy community and related sectors. It strives to establish itself as a leading event, attracting global participants passionate about sharing, exchanging, and exploring new avenues in Sustainable and Renewable Energy-related scientific and commercial developments. GSESRE2023 features a comprehensive scientific program designed to cover a wide range of topics in Sustainable and Renewable Energy. Attending the summit will gives participants a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge and stay at the forefront of interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable and renewable energy. The summit not will only offer a platform for learning but also provide invaluable networking opportunities.
5.SEST 2023 (6th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and Technologies)
September 4 - 6, 2023 | Mugla (Turkey)
Governments worldwide are investing substantially in smart energy systems and technologies (SEST) to optimize energy utilization, enhance planning for outage responses and recovery, and foster seamless integration of diverse technologies such as renewable energy systems, electric vehicle networks, and smart homes within the power grid. The SEST conference is a premier event that endeavors to address the engineering complexities associated with designing and operating smart energy systems. At the SEST Conference, the primary objective is to facilitate in-depth discussions on advanced methodologies and best practices for developing various components of smart energy systems and ensuring their seamless integration within the grid infrastructure. This conference will serve as a vital platform for researchers, academics, industry professionals, and government regulators to collectively tackle the challenges faced in this domain. It will foster an environment conducive to sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas, and exploring innovative approaches to design and implement smart energy systems.
6.2023 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy and Environment (ICREE 2023)
September 22 - 24, 2023 | Eskisehir Technical University, Turkey
The 7th International Conference on Renewable Energy and Environment (ICREE 2023) is an eagerly anticipated event taking place in Eskisehir, Turkey. As a workshop of the ICPSE 2023 conference, ICREE 2023 provides an excellent platform for researchers and developers to come together and share their experiences, ideas, and research findings across various fields related to renewable energy and the environment. ICREE 2023 welcomes participants from diverse backgrounds, fostering a collaborative environment where students, postdoctoral researchers, and established scientists can engage in fruitful discussions and contribute to an integrative approach for addressing the challenges and opportunities in renewable energy and environmental sustainability. The conference will encompass an extensive range of topics, focusing on key areas such as photovoltaic technology, PV manufacturing, PV for rural development, solar thermal electricity, wind energy applications, hydropower applications, and more. Through research talks and presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to showcase their work, share insights, and gain valuable feedback from their peers.
7.Renewable and Sustainable Energy (RENEWABLEENG 2023)
September 25 - 27, 2023 | Barcelona (Spain)
The International Conference on Renewable and Sustainable Energy (RENEWABLEENG 2023) is a prestigious event that brings together a diverse range of participants, including academia, government laboratories, industry professionals, business entrepreneurs, and specialists from around the globe. This conference will offer an exciting environment to share the latest findings, exchange ideas, and establish strategic alliances, all with the shared goal of securing a clean and sustainable environment. RENEWABLEENG 2023 focuses on addressing the current challenges associated with climate change, emphasizing the quest for sustainable development goals and the transition to a low-carbon future, in line with the objectives set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The conference will serve as a platform for identifying pressing issues and generating viable solutions to achieve a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world. Moreover, RENEWABLEENG 2023 will operate in a hybrid format to ensure inclusivity, allowing remote attendees to participate via Zoom.
8.Renewable Energy Markets (REM) 2023
September 18-20, 2023 | Washington D.C. (USA)
The annual Renewable Energy Markets conference serves as a gathering point for a diverse range of industry professionals driving the rapid transformation of the global clean energy marketplace. With a history spanning over 25 years, Renewable Energy Markets has earned a reputation as the premier conference series for professionals working in the clean energy sector. Thousands of renewable energy experts rely on REM conferences to equip them with the necessary tools to excel in the expanding retail renewable market. REM brings together corporate leaders, policymakers, and suppliers, fostering collaboration and providing guidance in navigating the dynamic and rapidly expanding renewable energy market. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore emerging trends in policy, exchange best practices in renewable energy procurement and marketing, review the latest technological advancements, and collectively shape the future of renewable energy. Organized by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Renewable Energy Markets offers a highly respected platform that will facilitate knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration among industry professionals.
9.5th International Conference on Renewable Energy, Resources and Sustainable Technologies (EnergyTech 2023)
November 13 - 14, 2023 | Paris (France)
The 5th International Conference on Renewable Energy, Resources & Sustainable Technologies (EnergyTech 2023) is a highly anticipated two-day event that brings together academics, researchers, professionals, administrators, educational leaders, industry representatives, and business leaders. It serves as a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, discussion, and networking among experts in the field. The conference will feature an array of engaging activities, including keynote speakers, presentations, oral talks, poster presentations, and an exhibition. The theme of EnergyTech 2023, 'Accelerating the Advancements in Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth,' will set the stage for in-depth discussions and exploration of various topics. Renewable energy, with its diverse range of resources, taking center stage, covering areas such as REN21, solar energy, bioenergy, ocean thermal energy conversion, 100% renewable energy, sustainable technologies, developments, advanced technology, and more. Participants can delve into advanced details and engage in interactive sessions that foster collaboration and knowledge exchange. The conference will offer a comprehensive program that addresses critical aspects of renewable energy, aiming to accelerate advancements in the field and drive sustainable growth.
10.Energy Trends 2023 (European Congress on Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development)
November 16 - 17, 2023 | Rome (Italy)
Energy Trends 2023 is a peer-reviewed European Congress on Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development. This prestigious event serves as a platform for researchers, professors, scientists, business delegates, entrepreneurs, practitioners, managers, and students from around the world to come together and strengthen their professional networks for the advancement of a sustainable future. The conference is dedicated to the theme of Developing and Securing Energy Technologies for a Sustainable Future. It aims to provide advanced, eco-friendly energy solutions that offer a competitive advantage and cost savings in various industrial and business sectors. Energy Trends 2023 will facilitate lively engagement and knowledge sharing among industry leaders and experts by focusing on cutting-edge presentations, special panel discussions, and interactive sessions. The conference will provide a platform to share new and exciting research findings and results. This exchange of knowledge and expertise contribute to the continuous development of renewable energy solutions and fosters the achievement of a sustainable future worldwide.
As the world increasingly recognizes the urgent need for sustainable and renewable energy solutions, attending top solar power conventions and events becomes crucial for professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts alike. These solar events will serve as catalysts for innovation, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, driving the advancement of solar power and renewable energy. By attending these top solar conventions and events in 2023, individuals can stay at the forefront of solar power and renewable energy developments, gain valuable insights, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to a sustainable future. These events offer unparalleled opportunities to engage with the brightest minds, discover groundbreaking technologies, and collaborate toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy landscape. Attending these top solar power events is not just an investment in personal and professional growth but also a commitment to driving the renewable energy revolution forward.
Article | May 19, 2021
It all started about four years ago, when SUVs and pickup trucks drove uninvited onto their lands, remembers Olimpia Palmar, a member of the Indigenous Wayúu peoples, who historically have occupied the La Guajira desert in northern Colombia and Venezuela. "We started seeing these arijunas [Wayuúunaiki for non-native peoples] wearing construction helmets and boots and vests, getting out of the cars, checking the desert, and then leaving," she recalls.
Word soon began circulating across the Guajira Peninsula, from the rancherías — the community’s rural settlements — to the few urban centers: The arijunas were offering money to those who would let them plant tall, slim towers on their lands to measure the wind. On La Guajira’s dusty earth, where few things grow, towers began to sprout. By 2019, at least 30 wind-measuring towers had risen on Wayúu land, according to a report by Indepaz, a nonprofit research center.