Obviously, there are a number of considerations to take into account when deciding if Solar Energy is an appropriate route for your business, home, or organization.
Monetary considerations are abundant, as there are each of the following to look at (and more!):
· -Initial and long term cost of installation location
· -Opportunity cost for usage of installation location
· -Value of location with installation of solar equipment
· -Cost of solar equipment
· -Cost of installation
· -Cost of maintenance
· -Monthly energy cost savings or loss
· -Availability and concentration of solar light
· -Environmental benefits
I’m sure you right now are thinking of additional benefits or deterrents to Solar Energy in the area of your responsibility. I would like to take a moment to address a few of these, and to make a case for why Solar Energy is unequivocally the most fiscally responsible decision for almost all Americans.
To begin, I don’t know much about environmental science. The consequences of burning fossil fuels and other climate impacting considerations are for scientists and specialists of the environment to speak on. I am however, a business man. With that in mind, I will for this writing ignore the generally overwhelmingly positive consideration of solar energy on the environment, and only focus on the economic impact.
When the solar energy alternative became available for general residential and commercial use, it was far more expensive than what could be acquired by most large businesses even. This was a perk for environmental junkies, and those who wanted to strictly show off their wealth.
In the last 10-15 years however, this form of alternative energy has become more and more mainstream, with greater technological advancement in the photovoltaic cells (PV) which make harnessing solar energy possible. Currently, there are dozens of solar panel manufactures of varying intricacies and methods based in the United States, Europe and China.
The initial ‘cost’ of installing solar equipment has always been the primary deterrent for purchasers. People are naturally wary about a large initial investment if they are unsure of the surety of their return, or if the details on the length of time for their return on investment are uncertain.
Maintenance was also an unknown for years. How would a system withstand a storm or variations in humidity? Luckily, the manufacturers of these systems understand that they only work out doors and exposed to the elements- and solar arrays withstand extremes of the environment just as well as any rooftop.
Local and Federal governments have numerous tax incentives to assist Solar Panel purchasers now, some going as far as a 40% tax write-off for the cost of the entire system package. Taking in to consideration the costs of the initial purchases, the previous energy bills taking power from the grid, and then current energy bills- numerous studies and scenarios have now occurred, and there is a clear monetary saving off of energy costs within an average of 10 years.
What this means, is the average building with solar power saves enough money off of their energy bill in 10 years to completely offset the cost of the solar package equipment and installation. Everything after 10 years, is pure savings or profit.
Do you plan on owning your business for more than 10 years? How about your home? If you are on the board of a University, do you expect that school to be there still in 10 years? If you answered yes, then Solar Energy equipment is a proven, efficient and effective way to cut costs.
The beauty of a solar installation is also part of its simplicity. While some other projects may require digging up land, cutting down trees, or other landscaping endeavors, a solar panel array could simply be installed on a building’s rooftop. The more roof space available, then the more area for solar panels. In this regard, a larger horizontal building could traditionally benefit much more than a sky scrapper (Options are available for panels on the sides of buildings, but we won’t get in to those). With these simple understandings, we have already addressed the majority of considerations listed above.
If the array is put on the roof of a building, there is no additional location cost requirement. One does not need to purchase additional land for example. Further, while there are some organizations using their rooftops, generally speaking it is dead space where there are no activities happening and no money being brought in or saved by the firm. Converting that previously unused space, in to an area that saves, or even makes money, should be a no brainer. The cost of the equipment and installation are all not only assisted by the government, but also proven paid for by the savings in energy cost.
Key external factors include the position of your building in direct sunlight or not, and if there is a known constant full cloud cover Generally speaking, unless your building is shaded by a mountain, tree canopy, or other much larger buildings, then it is a viable candidate for solar energy. Very few locations have such a constant cloud cover as to negate the passage of usable solar radiance, but this is a consideration to look at.
In the end, the cost-benefit analysis of purchasing and installing a solar energy system should be looked at carefully, but the fact remains that for any generally horizontal building, the system will pay for itself in a relatively short time. The primary factor of consideration would then be your budget. Are you the type of individual or organization that hold the small short term looking financial picture as primary, or is the greater gain from a long term project more important? Personally, I do not find it responsible to continue wasting money on traditional, primitive energy sources while there is a proven alternative method for sustainable, renewable energy that will end up earning me money. For me, as an investor, it’s time to go solar- it just makes too much sense. –MB
About Michael Bologna:
Michael served in the United States Army as an Intelligence Professional with over 1000 hours of flight time on a reconnaissance air platform in real world missions, serving as the unit Lead Flight Instructor. He has experience in both East Asia and the Middle East conducting, coordinating, and establishing intelligence operations. He is also a professional expert in bridging the gaps between disparate organizations to reach common mission objectives with success. Michael has over 750 hours of experience conducting classroom training on a range of subjects from intelligence operations, to leadership tactics.
Ocelotl Group International, LLC (O.G.I.) is a multinational consultancy firm that offers dynamic and unique services throughout each of our divisions. Our team includes experts in International Security, Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs, International Commerce, Intelligence, Military Affairs, and much more. At O.G.I., we pride ourselves on giving our clients exactly what they need at home and overseas. Whether you represent yourself, a corporation, or an agency you can count on O.G.I. to bring you the experts.
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