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March 19, 2021

Businesses all over the world are rapidly going green opting for a solar power system. And this exceptional rate of solar adoption clarifies that positive PR and wanting to reduce carbon footprint are not the only reasons powering this growth. The reason is much more complex. When a company chooses to go solar, they are actually incorporating a triple bottom line strategy, which is expected to offer greater business value through better performance in social, environmental (or ecological) and financial frameworks, in a nutshell, it is about maximizing returns through offering better solutions for people and the planet. 

The strategy must be working for them as international companies like- Apple (398 MW), Amazon (369 MW), Walmart (331 MW), Target (284 MW), Google (245 MW) Kaiser Permanente (181 MW), etc are ramping up their solar panel system capacities year after year. Not just the giants, small and mid-sized companies are too showing interest in opting for solar panels in the USA. C&I sector now makes up just over 10% of the USA’s total addressable market 

There is a reason why commercial entities and industries need to look at sustainable energy sources. Besides the depleting fossil fuel reserves, the cost of traditional energy is eventually going to increase, and the contribution to the pollution does create a very bleak future for the enterprise.   

On the other hand, opting for solar power can reduce energy bills, save money, reduce the carbon footprint, while the solar power system pays itself back within 6-8 years. As of the current scenario, globally the manufacturing industry is the biggest client in Industrial rooftop installations as compared to its competitors in the top end-user sectors. It is the leading solar power consumer with industries like real estate, education, and textiles trailing behind. 

Components That Are Driving Solar Adoption in C&I Sector 

Research shows that the largest commercial building in the U.S., a Texas-based aerospace company with 770,000 square meters of rooftop, could generate 88 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy. It is enough to power nearly 5,200 homes for a year, offset 47,800 metric tons of CO2, and spare up to 388 acres of land. This clearly highlights Government’s need to utilize the C&I sector for solar energy generation. 

However, to find the deciding factor for companies looking for solar panel companies to go solar, we must go through business requirements layer by layer.  

Energy Requirement: Energy requirements are quite higher for a mid-sized to a large business organization. Even small businesses need constant access to power to flourish. And as the fossil fuel reserves further deplete, and population growth rises, the conventional energy distribution is going to get inconsistent. Developed countries like the US need to make the transition to sustainable energy by installing solar panel system or suffer from energy price rise and energy deficit. In such a scenario, adopting solar seems to be a smart move, as it can offer an uninterrupted energy supply with ease.  

Energy Expenses: Conventional energy expenses are suspected to rise considerably, carving out huge chunks of money from business profits every year. The best way to save on energy expenses is to generate the power yourself. In such a scenario, solar stands a viable option to generate energy, thus saving money in the long run while satisfying energy requirements. In the same breath, we need to highlight those technology giants in the US- Google, and Facebook is already saving up on electricity expenses, with Apple already becoming a 100% renewable energy-powered company worldwide.  

This clearly testifies the relevance of using solar to power commercial infrastructures.  

Carbon Emission: Besides ensuring access to energy and saving on electricity bills, solar can help reduce carbon emissions, which stands as a necessity for commercial entities now. And as 1 kW of green energy can reduce more than 3,000 pounds of CO2 annually, solar panels in the USA stand as the best option for commercial entities to avail and aid in restoring the climate. 

So, it seems that the numbers add up, the C&I sector creates jobs, brings in technological upgrades, and supports the economy. As sustainable energy sources like solar are also interconnected with the economy within a country, therefore, we can say that they go hand in hand to grow. 

In the same breath, we need to highlight that as the cost of buying an installing solar has decreased considerably in last 5 years, the economics of opting for solar has become more attractive.  

It is a fact that in developed countries, solar adoption in the corporate sector is at an advanced stage. However, in developing countries like India where solar is only at a nascent stage, there are many challenges to overcome.  

It Offers Benefit In The Long Run: 

C&I sector uses a considerable amount of energy to run its long list of processes that are required for manufacturing. A solar power system pays the initial investment within 4-6 years of usage, which makes it a perfect choice to save huge amounts of money in the long run. While traditional energy will get expensive in near future and add to the energy bills. 

Additionally, due to the availability of huge roofs, most industries can easily use rooftop solar to take care of their daily operations. Therefore, saving money on location as well.  

According to the US Solar Market Insight Q4 2020 report, the country’s solar companies installed 3.8 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in Q3, a 9% increase from Q2 installations, and a record 19 GW of new solar capacity was installed this year. The last Presidential election results in the US have brought a new ray of hope for the Renewable energy industry. It is expected that total installed U.S. solar panel system capacity to double over the next five years and the C&I sector is expected to enhance its share many folds.