The Definitive Guide to Going Solar: A Business Owner's Roadmap to a Sustainable Future
Updated: Feb 7
Whether you are a small business owner or a large corporation, you are probably already aware of the importance of sustainability and green energy. In today’s world, going solar has become an increasingly attractive option for companies looking to decarbonise their business and make a positive impact on the environment. But what exactly is solar energy, and how can it help your business?
In this guide, we will outline everything you need to know about solar energy and its many advantages for businesses. This includes the basics of solar energy, technologies for the solar energy market in Malaysia, and strategies for successful implementation in your own business. Deep dive into the world of solar energy with us and find out how it can lead your business on a green journey ahead.
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is the energy that is produced by harnessing the power of the sun. This energy is converted into electricity through the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells. Made up of semiconductor material, PV cells absorb the energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. Solar is a clean, renewable, and reliable source of electricity that can be used to power homes and buildings. As an abundant and infinite source of energy, solar is quickly gaining popularity among businesses. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy does not produce any emissions or pollutants, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking to cut down on their environmental impact and achieve their sustainability goals.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
Generally, solar energy works by capturing sunlight and converting it into usable electricity as PV cells convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. With the help of an inverter, this electricity is converted into alternating current (AC). Using solar power is a relatively simple and reliable process that may involve the installation of solar panels on rooftops or in open areas with little or no maintenance required. Solar panels are designed to be highly efficient, enabling them to generate enough electricity even on cloudy days and during peak demand.
Benefits of Going Solar for Businesses
Going solar is no longer just an option for businesses — it is a necessity. With the increasing cost of energy and the rising demand for renewable energy sources, businesses need to look for new ways to power their operations. Fortunately, going solar is easier and more accessible than ever. Not only will it help businesses save money on energy costs, but it will also contribute to a more sustainable environment.
Solar energy is a smart, cost-effective, and sustainable choice. For commercial and industrial businesses, the benefits of going solar are even more pronounced. Companies that invest in solar energy system will be able to lower their carbon footprint and enhance their bottom line. Consequently, they will be able to stay competitive in the global market by demonstrating their commitment to sustainability while taking advantage of various tax incentives and other financial benefits.
Another notable benefit is the cost savings that come with switching to solar. Solar energy is much cheaper than traditional sources of electricity, with businesses saving up to 80% on their energy bills. As energy prices continue to rise, businesses will be able to save even more money by hedging against tariff hikes. There is also an exponential increase in the adoption of solar energy as the cost of solar systems comes down rapidly every year. Plus, in the wake of the new ICPT surcharge that has heavily impacted industrial sectors in Malaysia, there cannot be a better time to consider going solar than now.
Beyond the financial benefits, solar energy is also great for the environment with no carbon emissions associated with its production. Using solar energy as a source of energy can help businesses to decarbonise and contribute to a better environment by playing their part in reducing carbon emissions and moving towards carbon neutrality. On top of that, solar energy has immense potential to create green jobs, generate economic growth, and strengthen local communities.
Solar Energy – Global and Malaysia Perspectives
Globally, the solar energy market is growing rapidly, with the market projected to reach $293.18 billion by 2028. In 2021, global solar energy capacity achieved 940 GW, with China, the United States, and Japan leading the way in terms of installed capacity.
Taking its place amongst the leading markets for solar energy, Malaysia is also becoming an impressive market for solar power. In 2022, the country recorded 8.7 GW of solar energy capacity which comes from ground-mounted, rooftop, and floating solar PV. This number is expected to grow further as businesses and homeowners continue to switch to solar.
The Malaysian government is also encouraging the use of solar energy to accelerate the nation’s goal of achieving 40% renewable energy capacity by 2035, with a current installed capacity of 23%. In the near future, many opportunities will be created in the solar energy sector as a result of the country's ambitious solar energy targets and the implementation of new business models, while targeting to install 9 GW of solar energy capacity by 2050.
Moreover, the government has implemented various initiatives to promote the use of solar energy including green tax incentives and financial support for companies looking to install solar systems. By offering this support, the ownership of solar assets has become more affordable, allowing businesses to consider it as a strategic solution to strengthen their ESG commitments.
Solar Energy Transition Opportunities
Solar energy offers many opportunities for companies looking to transition from conventional energy sources to renewable energy sources. With government incentives such as the Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA) and Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE), switching to solar is increasingly cost-effective and profitable. In addition, businesses can take advantage of new technologies and strategies to optimise their solar energy systems and get the most out of them.
Moreover, businesses can also choose from a variety of solar energy solutions that will suit their needs. Rooftop solar PV systems are the most common option, where solar panels are installed on the roof of the building and designed to generate electricity. Besides being able to be used to power buildings, excess energy generated by these systems can also be sold back to the grid and offset energy bills.
Financing solutions for solar energy can also be beneficial to businesses in many ways. These solutions allow businesses to finance the installation and maintenance of their solar energy systems without any upfront payment (ZERO CAPEX), allowing them to switch to solar in the easiest way.
Meanwhile, the new configuration models like Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and virtual PPA (VPPA) make it much easier for businesses to switch to solar energy, while also taking maximum benefits of the RE programs offered by the government such as Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Self-Consumption (SELCO). With VPPA gaining more traction, commercial and industrial users will have the option to generate green electricity without installing any physical RE facilities on their premises.
It is also worth noting that the emerging trend in the energy sector sees other excellent options like Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) as the game changer in the industry as they offer alternatives routes to adopt green energy. Businesses can also partner with clean energy providers and Net Zero partners like Progressture Solar to help them make the transition to renewable energy. With the solutions offered by reputable solar providers, businesses will be able to utilise their expertise and resources to make the switch to solar energy seamlessly.
Strategies for Implementing Solar Energy in Businesses
A few steps and processes are required for a company’s transition to solar energy. With the right strategy and technology, businesses can successfully make the transition and achieve their Net Zero target. The first step is to calculate the energy usage and determine how much energy the buildings need to generate. This will help businesses in determining the size of the solar energy system to meet their energy needs.
Up next, companies will need to locate a reputable provider of solar energy. This is important, as businesses need to ensure that their solar energy system is installed and engineered correctly. Businesses should also look for a provider that offers financing options to ease the ownership of their solar assets with no upfront payment needed.
Finally, if companies opt for solar project development for their premises, they will need to ensure that their solar energy system is connected to the grid and the installed system is well-maintained. Having this in place will help ensure the solar energy system is running smoothly and efficiently. Businesses should also keep an eye out for new developments in solar energy technology, as this will help them stay up to date with the latest advances in solar energy.
The Future of Solar Energy in Malaysia
Malaysia's solar energy industry looks to be very promising and bright. The provision of carefully formulated solutions and strategies enables companies of all sizes to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and make the shift to a more environmentally friendly mode of operation.
As mentioned earlier, the Malaysian government is also supporting the use of solar energy, making it increasingly cost-effective and accessible for every industry. To ease the transition process, the government expects to provide even more incentives and support to help businesses make the switch to solar energy in the upcoming years.
In the future, solar energy is predicted to become even more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are expected to help businesses optimise their solar energy systems and get the most out of their systems.
Businesses can also benefit from energy monitoring solutions that comes with the application of solar energy system. These solutions allow businesses to monitor their energy usage and adjust their energy consumption accordingly. With this, businesses can significantly enjoy huge cost-saving benefits and ensure that they are using the most efficient, clean energy sources.
Solar energy is a promising renewable energy source that enables businesses to reduce their energy costs and improve their bottom line. It is clean, abundant, and cost-effective while providing a reliable and sustainable source of power. Companies can reap the benefits of going solar, both financially and environmentally. In the current energy crisis, with increasing costs of energy and fluctuating electricity tariffs, now is the perfect time to make the switch to solar power.
If you are interested in learning more about how to go solar and how to decarbonise your business, visit our website and talk to our solar experts today.