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Switching to a clean energy supply forms an essential part of every net zero strategy – and solar PV (short for photovoltaic) is a cost-effective option for businesses considering self-generation. 

Solar energy concept

Solar PV converts the power of the sun into electricity. It can be used directly onsite to power business operations, or combined with a battery storage system for use when grid prices or high, or to provide a back-up for critical processes. It can also be exported back to the grid for an additional income.

There is a particular opportunity to install solar PV panels on large commercial roofs – putting unused space to good use. They can also be incorporated within (rather than on top of) the walls and roofs of a building.

Business benefits of solar PV:

Carbon reduction: solar PV is 100% renewable, greatly reducing carbon emissions

Increased resilience: energy generated can be stored in a battery storage system, for emergency back-up use when the grid is down

Budget certainty: protection from unpredictable grid energy prices

Lower energy bills: solar PV reduces the amount of electricity needed from the grid, and stored energy can be used when peak demand prices are high

Revenue: you can also get paid for excess electricity that you export, via the Smart Export Guarantee

There are different business models for adopting solar PV, depending on whether the building is leased or owned, and whether the installation will be owned by a third party or the landlord. One viable route is self-financing, where the site owners or occupiers invest in the installation. Another route is via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), where a third party finances the installation and the building occupier buys the output.

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