Solar now makes real business sense – cut your energy costs and drive a green recovery

Chris Hewett, CEO of Solar Energy UK, said the cost of solar is now a ‘real positive’ for businesses looking for green growth

Net Hero Podcast

Solar now makes real business sense – it’s the perfect technology to reduce energy costs and drive a green recovery.

That was the suggestion from Francisco Cabadas, Head of Solar Development at AMP Clean Energy, who highlighted the vital role solar energy is already playing in the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero: “Even if you don’t have the same solar resource as you do in Spain or Mexico, the cost is so low that it makes sense in the UK.”

Chris Hewett, CEO of trade body Solar Energy UK, agreed that the cost of solar is now a “real positive” for businesses looking for green growth.

He said: “90% over the last decade globally is by how much the price of solar has dropped and we are seeing the same with battery technology.”

It is also very easy to deploy, noted Francisco: “The benefits are that it’s relatively easy to install and quick to deploy. So, you can have your green credentials quite quickly with really low cost or zero cost, in our case, with our offer.”

AMP Clean Energy develops rooftop solar solutions for businesses and provides a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that aims to help overcome what often proves to be the biggest barrier to adoption – money.

Francisco explained: “Customers are looking for substantial savings on their bill and reducing their carbon emissions in their operations.

“A PPA solution can be optimal for them and in essence we finance the asset. We take responsibility of the operation and maintenance of it for the tenure of the contract.”

Chris emphasised that this can be very attractive for larger businesses and pointed out that he hears lots of positive success stories about PPAs from his members.

“It’s increasingly attractive for lots of sectors we are seeing the technology sector, water sector, agricultural food and drink sectors as well. Those who have the ability to make long term investments on their own, will do it off their own balance sheets.

“But the attractive offer that AMP does is to work with the provider to do the upfront cost of it and provide you with a steady supply of energy and a predictable cost – that’s the other attractive thing here. It removes the volatility of your energy bills.”

So, cost is dealt with, but another factor that businesses frequently worry about is the length of the solar deals available. however, Francisco says there are solutions on the market.

“One of the big barriers is long term contracts. So, we need to offer as much flexibility as we can. One of the things we can provide as we manage the funds that we use to finance these projects, is to offer flexible options and on the other hand, look at reducing the tenure of the contracts. Which are the initial barriers with customers”

Chris has no doubts solar is as vital a technology as EVs and battery storage for today’s businesses with green ambitions and stressed you shouldn’t be waiting for government subsidy to act.

He concluded: “I would say to any businesses who want to have predictable energy pricing, who want to do their own bit towards the green economy, don’t wait for the government you can just get on with it yourself now.”

So, is solar something you should think about again?

Francisco summed it up like this: “The longer you take to go solar or to do your PPA, the more savings you’re losing!”