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Should your warehouse invest in solar panels?

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Perhaps five or ten years ago the costs of renewable energy were extortionate, however in recent times the cost of solar panels has fallen and this is now a viable option for any company operating in the warehouse industry.

According to Forbes the amount of solar photovoltaic (PV) development is growing rapidly, led by just a handful of US states, and the installed cost of PV systems continues to fall.

What are the advantages?

The key advantage of using solar panels is that a warehouse can become more self-reliant on producing its own energy and using less from the National Grid, saving them a considerable amount of money over time. Solar energy is now cheaper than it used to be and, according to climatechangenews.com, solar energy is on course to meet 20% of global energy needs by 2027, today the price per watt is now less than £0.55.

In a study conducted by the Oxford university in the Research Policy journal, found that in the short-term at least, the solar’s upward swing was unstoppable. Falling manufacturing costs, which have dropped by 10% a year since the 1980s, would grow solar’s share of global electricity from roughly 1.5% today, to as much as 20% by 2027. However, the many benefits of solar energy, it does rely heavily on the weather which in the UK is not always great and solar panel capacity factor will be just 15% in northern Europe.

Despite this, using warehouses to install solar panels is still a financially lucrative option and a good way to monetize otherwise empty roofs. It can generate up to 43.3p for every kwh of electricity generated using solar PV panels. Energy that is not used will be automatically diverted to the National Grid under the Export Tariff and attracts an additional 3.1p per kWh.

Monetize your roof space

Taking all this into consideration, it would be beneficial for a warehouse operator to monetize this free roof space, even if they can’t afford the upfront costs of purchasing the solar panels, they could still rent out their roofs for free to companies who are willing to install the solar panels and in return will pay a fixed payment per kWh or flat fee.

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