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In our capitalistic society, everyone is busy chasing their goals and pursuits for personal growth and development. Amidst such a competitive environment, politicians, leaders, and the general public got distracted from issues that carry potential to threaten our futures on a massive scale.
Several international organizations have held multiple meetings on global levels, passed bills and drafted a comprehensive set of environmental rules and guidelines. But unfortunately, the discussion around global warming and the need for sustainable development has only been theoretical so far.
However, two years ago, the world was struck with the breakout of a global pandemic which led to disastrous outcomes on several fronts like financial, education, economical, and healthcare.
On the other hand, it also made people reflect on what can be done to make this planet a better place to live in. In this article, we will discuss how companies are facilitating a culture of sustainability by shifting to solar energy.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy is the power obtained by harnessing the energy of the sun’s rays. It’s an abundant, renewable source of energy that humans have used for centuries in various ways. Given the escalating concerns over fossil fuels and their environmental impacts, solar energy sustainability has gained prominence as a clean alternative.
This energy is captured primarily through photovoltaic cells, commonly known as solar panels. These solar panels’ sustainability is evident as they convert sunlight directly into electricity with minimal environmental degradation. Another method involves solar thermal systems that concentrate solar radiation to heat a fluid, subsequently producing steam to drive a turbine that generates electricity.
Embracing solar energy reduces dependence on non-renewable resources, diminishes greenhouse gas emissions, and allows for decentralized power generation, even in remote areas. As technological advancements continue, the efficiency and storage capabilities of solar systems enhance, solidifying solar energy as a leading solution for sustainable global energy needs.
The advantages of solar energy and disadvantages of solar energy
The advantages of solar energy
- Eco-friendly: Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of power, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. This makes solar panels’ sustainability a key factor in combating climate change.
- Reduces electricity bills: Once installed, solar panels can significantly reduce your monthly electricity bills, as you will be harnessing power directly from the sun.
- Diverse applications: Solar power can be utilized for various purposes, from powering homes and businesses to heating water and even producing electricity in remote locations.
- Low maintenance costs: After the initial investment, solar panels require minimal maintenance to ensure they operate efficiently.
- Technological advancements: The efficiency of solar panels continues to improve, allowing for increased energy conversion rates. This enhances solar power sustainability, making it a long-term solution.
Disadvantages of solar energy
- High initial costs: Installing solar panels and related systems can be costly initially, though costs have been decreasing over the years.
- Weather dependent: The efficiency of solar panels can be affected by cloudy or rainy days, making them less effective in certain climates or during particular seasons.
- Space requirements: Large solar installations require ample space, which might not be feasible for those in densely populated urban areas.
- Energy storage is expensive: To harness solar power during non-sunny days or nights, there’s a need for energy storage systems like batteries, which can be costly.
- Manufacturing and disposal impact: While solar panels promote sustainability, their manufacturing process involves energy and certain materials that may not be eco-friendly. Additionally, the disposal of old panels isn’t always sustainable, though recycling methods are improving.
What are solar panels and solar power sustainability?
Solar panels and solar power sustainability refer to the ability of solar energy systems to provide a long-term, environmentally friendly solution to meet our energy needs. Solar panels transform sunlight directly into electricity, offering a renewable energy source that reduces dependence on fossil fuels.
Solar energy sustainability underscores the idea that the sun provides a nearly infinite supply of energy, ensuring a consistent and lasting power source. Furthermore, solar panels sustainability highlights the fact that once installed, these systems have a minimal environmental impact, producing clean energy without emitting greenhouse gases.
However, solar power sustainability doesn’t just consider the production of energy. It also factors in the manufacturing, installation, and end-of-life disposal or recycling of solar panels. It aims for a holistic approach that minimizes the environmental footprint at every stage. Thus, when discussing solar energy, the emphasis on sustainability ensures we harness its benefits most responsibly.
How do companies drive the economic sector of a country?
Large scale industries and organizations are the driving force behind the economic sector of a country. By producing a huge amount of profit and revenue, they generate employment for people across different classes and ensure that the per capita income of the country is maintained.
In the last few decades, as our world has been understanding the impacts, causes and consequences of climate change, researchers and experts across the world are coming up with a diverse range of green and energy-efficient solutions like building automation, digitization, solar power sustainability, and more.
Amongst all the options, companies and organizations have deployed solar energy sustainability as it is the most affordable and viable option to combat the consequences of climate change.
How does solar energy lead to sustainable development?
Before jumping to the plethora of benefits that solar panels offer for a green and sustainable future, let us first understand how is solar energy produced. One of the primary reasons companies are shifting to solar energy is that the operating principle behind a solar panel is simple and easily comprehensible.
In other words, since people tend to invest in technologies they can understand, company owners do not hesitate in employing instruments for solar energy production. Usually, solar power is generated by using PV or solar photovoltaic technology that efficiently converts solar radiation or sunlight into electric power with the help of semiconductors.
So, when the sun rays reach these semiconductors installed within the photovoltaic cell, it leads to the dispersion of electrons  which is collected by busbars, eventually resulting in power generation. Below we have mentioned some of the many benefits of solar energy and how it contributes to sustainable development:
- The first and foremost concern of company owners is to save money wherever they can so that they can make more profit. Solar energy will not only lead to sustainable development but will also give heavy returns on investment which saves the company from paying utility bills.
- Usually, to meet their energy needs in an effective manner, companies opt for energy procurement. It is a service that compares the current energy rates in the market and offers the most reasonable deal so that companies can save some amount in their overall expenses.
In contrast, solar energy reduces dependence on oil and fossil fuels, giving companies a chance to enhance other departments like architecture, infrastructure, security systems, and more.
- Also, industries and companies find it best to invest in equipment that are safe, durable, and long-lasting. Since solar panels last over 30 years, there is close to no repairs or replacements required after the installation process. Hence, solar panels and solar energy is not only sustainable but also cost-efficient.
- In order to lower the impact of climate change, company owners are stepping up to own their responsibility towards the environment and society. They understand that since solar energy is sustainable, pollution-free, and emits zero greenhouse gases, it also requires a new skilled set of people, electric systems, and technologies, creating a number of job opportunities like solar installers, solar panel manufacturers, and more.
- Lastly, it is imperative to understand that every market strives on competition, and to stay ahead in the race, an organization needs to implement strategies that make them stand out. If companies decide to deploy solar energy for sustainability, it will enhance their brand value by highlighting their futuristic and thoughtful approach.
Say yes to solar energy and pave the way for sustainable development with Schneider Electric
At Schneider Electric, we aim to meet all your electric needs in the most efficient and effective way possible. According to Corporate Knights 2021, we are known to be the most sustainable corporation as we take thoughtful measures to accelerate sustainable progress for all our employees, customers, communities and partners that are spread across the world. Have a look at our 6 long term commitments that will contribute towards a climate positive world:
- Investing in innovative solutions that deliver lasting decarbonization  falls in line with our carbon pledge.
- We make most of the digital technology in order to preserve our planet.
- By upholding ourselves to governance, ethical, and social standards.
- We foster learning, development, and upskilling for each generation.
- We consistently promote local initiatives while enabling partners and individuals to make sustainable development a reality for all.
- We take special measures to ensure that our employees are working in an inclusive and diversified environment so that they can bring their best foot forward at work.