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Kirsty Hammond looks at the benefits for companies adding power generating to their buildings

Solar energy is the fastest growing alternative energy industry available, with numerous countries all over the world adopting solar panels and this renewable source revolutionising the way construction works around the globe.

Construction trends are rapidly adapting to solar energy and it is being increasingly infused within the industry as standard.

It’s changing architectural planning for the better.

An environmentally responsible image is the way forward for any company

Kirsty Hammond Kirsty Hammond Editor of Specifier Review

Backing renewables

Solar panels are becoming easier to install, less expensive and the innovation involved shows little sign of slowing down. Customers are also embracing solar energy and most want their new buildings to be energy efficient and cost effective.

Construction in this country has long been one of the UK’s most vital sectors. It fuels the economy and provides millions of jobs.

Research now shows that over 60% of construction firms are backing renewable energy solutions. As reflective of society as a whole most think that more needs to be done to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a clean future.

The main requirement surrounding renewable energy in the construction sector is PART L of the building regulations. This requirement demands that all new build developments must generate a minimum of 10% electricity demand on site from renewable technology sources.

Adaptable energy

Solar energy is an immense energy resource. It can be used for so many of our everyday needs including electrical power, heating, cooling, water heating, industrial process heat, transportation, fuel production and even environmental clean-up.

Sunlight is pure energy in the highest form and this can be converted into many other forms for use in the construction industry.

Research has shown that just a fraction of the solar energy that falls on earth would be enough to care for all the needs of our planet. However it is only available during daylight hours and clearly if we are to depend on this energy source for the future we need to be able to harness, and efficiently store this energy in a cost effective manner.

Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy won’t run out any time soon.

Greening your CSR

The only limitation of solar power is our ability to turn it into electricity in an efficient and cost effective way. Operational costs of this energy source are low. Fuel isn’t required and this allows large amounts of electricity to be created without the uncertainty and expense of securing a fuel supply for your business.

Solar power is also scalable and can be deployed on projects from a single building to an industrial level. Solar panels can reduce or eliminate a building’s electricity bill, so for big and small businesses alike this money saving can have a tremendous effect.

Government incentives and the decrease in the installation cost means the utilisation of solar power is a sound investment. By using this alternative energy source any business can express its participation in the battle against global warming.

Going green will not only reduce operational expenses but can also serve as a great PR and marketing tool.

Having an environmentally responsible image is the way forward for any company in the construction sector.

Kirsty Hammond is editor and publisher of Specifier Review, which posts building product and project news