Investing in solar energy turns industry more competitive
Portugal is one of the countries in Europe with the highest electricity prices for industry. Energy prices have a direct impact on industry. This cost is reflected in the rentability of companies and their ability to stay in the market. In late 2021 and early 2022, increases in energy prices caused the Industrial Production Price Index (IPPI) to rise. This is an indicator that serves as a warning for companies. The investment in solar energy can be a great help in controlling costs and more.
The Solar energy is advantageous for the industry. Companies can benefit greatly from a solar photovoltaic installation. There is a considerable potential, especially for industries or farms with large roof or ground areas and a high energy consumption. The investment in solar energy for industry can be easily recovered through savings in energy costs. Besides, the planet wins with the reduction of CO2 emissions provided by the use of solar energy and companies win, as they see their image enhanced by presenting themselves as environmentally sustainable companies.
Find out how your company can save money with solar energy, what other benefit you get from installing photovoltaic systems, which solar panels to choose and where to install them.
How does industry save money with solar energy?
Firstly, by producing and consuming its own energy, so-called self-consumption, the company reduces energy consumption from the grid and the corresponding invoice. Secondly, it guarantees a fixed cost for the energy it produces. Thirdly, by relying less on the public grid, your company is less susceptible to price increases.
For industry, electricity usually represents between 7.5 to 20% of monthly costs. With the end of fixed feed-in tariffs and the constant rise in electricity prices, the installation of solar panels for self-consumption becomes very profitable for industry. Why is this so? Because instead of industrial companies consuming all the energy they need from the grid and being subject to all the price fluctuations, they can choose to produce and consume their own energy. The result? Local production of solar energy translates into a significant reduction of your electricity costs and self-consumption guarantees a fixed price for the amount of electricity that is supplied by the solar system.
Since electricity consumption in companies is usually highest during the daytime, which is precisely when the solar systems produce energy, a significant cost reduction can be achieved.
If we take into account the number of annual hours of sunshine that we have in Portugal, we’re talking about a potential self-consumption of between 70 and 100% of the energy produced, and a recovery of the investment in four years. With the possible subsidies, the amortisation period is even shorter. And there is still the possibility for your company to sell surplus energy to the grid.
To obtain the best performance from the installation of a photovoltaic system, the correct dimensioning is crucial, which must take into account the consumption profile of your company. If you need to, you can talk to SOLVasto’s specialist solar dimensioning team. Our focus is to adapt the design to the profile and situation of each company, maximizing the consumption of solar energy and the profitability of your investment.
Solar energy in industry: further benefits
Yes, there are more benefits to investing in solar energy in your company than just cost reduction and consequent competitiveness. By investing in solar energy, your company becomes environmentally friendly. By choosing this green energy, you are reducing CO2 emissions and contributing to a more sustainable future. Moreover, this benefit brings you another: the image that your company achieves with current and potential clients or partners. Opting for solar energy enhances the image of your company.
Have you ever thought that by installing solar panels, you are making unused assets (roofs, penthouses, land) profitable? That in itself is a benefit that translates into another: If one day you think of selling your industrial property, installing solar panels contributes to increasing the value of the property and increases the probability of selling it faster and better in the future. When a building has solar panels and produces the energy it uses, it means that the short and long-term operating expenses of the building are lower than comparable buildings that do not have solar panels installed.
Which solar panels to install?
Solar panels with monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells are normally installed in solar power plants for industry. Both are well developed. Solar panels with monocrystalline cells have greater power for the same area and register lower temperature losses. Technological evolution has allowed the production price of monocrystalline cells to be lower and lower.
Despite the different types, solar panels should always comply with the highest quality standards, norms and certifications. A quality panel has a guarantee against manufacturing defects equal to or greater than 10 years, as well as a power guarantee during its entire useful life of around 25 years. The guarantees are provided by the manufacturers themselves, which is why it is important that they are on the BNEF’s tier 1 list, thus ensuring that they are “bankable“, in other words, that these guarantees are properly valued by the world’s largest banks.
Where to install solar panels?
Solar energy systems can be installed on almost any type of roof or even on the ground. Let’s look at the options:
- Flat roofs: which have slabs or metal structure finishes. Properly ballasted triangular structures are used. This way, wind resistance is achieved and the characteristics and guarantees of the original covering are preserved. An advantage is the possibility of easily adjusting the direction and angle of inclination of the panels so as to maximise the radiation received, and consequently the production of the solar energy system.
- Inclined roofs: with tile or sandwich plate, the solar panels are installed directly on the roof by means of hooks on the tile or pins fixed directly to the plate. An important aspect is the distance between the covering and the solar panels, in order to guarantee good ventilation which lowers the temperature in the cells and consequently reduces production losses.
- Roof or wall: in this variant the panels are flush with the construction element and can partially replace it. In the case of a building constructed from scratch, the roof can even be constituted integrally by solar panels. The main disadvantages of this option are the higher costs and the angle of inclination of the panels.
- Ground: the panels are placed on aluminium fixing frames which are placed directly on the ground. It is often applied in larger installations.
You can count on the SOLVasto team to analyze your industrial company’s needs and present solutions that will make your company even more competitive and more sustainable.