Businesses realise the benefits of solar power | OUR FUTURE

Last year was a huge success for household solar in Australia. However, equally remarkable but often overlooked is the growth of solar use in Australian industry.

It’s not surprising that solar is an obvious energy choice given that Australia is one of the sunniest places in the world, but the speed of take up has been remarkable. The number of commercial and industrial solar installations has roughly doubled since 2016 and shows no signs of letting up.

That’s because industry is learning, along with the rest of the country, that solar power is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your bottom line. Solar saves money without the high maintenance costs associated with old fossil fuel technology.

Squeeze tube manufacturer Impact International just launched the first major industrial solar farm in Western Sydney. The 290 kilowatt installation will supply 100 per cent of the energy needed to power the factory - the same amount of electricity as you’d need to power 90 Australian homes. The company also expects the move to save it roughly $35,000 per year.

This new installation wasn’t driven by its bottom line but by consumer demand. Many customers have environmentally-friendly product lines and want an environmentally-friendly supplier. Impact International’s new facility was developed as part of an energy sustainability plan, which includes transitioning to energy efficient motors, improving production efficiency, installing smarter lighting and more.

Businesses now understand that it’s possible to be environmentally friendly and profitable at the same time. As industries integrate solar, not only do they reduce carbon emissions, they save money and they build consumer good will.

Environmentally, economically and socially, solar benefits us all.

Huon Hoogesteger is the founder of solar company Smart Commercial Solar.