Solar energy has been a main focus of governments and businesses around the world as the demand for reduced electricity consumption and more efficient resources paves the way for innovation and new technologies. Backed by federal and state investments in solar technology, the sector grew tremendously over the past decade, showing just how serious sustainability is to institutions and entities of all sizes.
A new report from GTM Research indicated solar photovoltaic installations jumped 30 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year. Further, solar energy now makes up the second-largest share of generating capacity of all resources, behind only natural gas.
Though commercial installations of solar technology leveled off in 2014, GTM Research predicted installations will rise again in 2015, in part due to greater investments in states like California.
In addition, solar energy is not only helping businesses become more energy efficient, but it’s also aiding the economy as a whole. According to the State Solar Job Census from the Solar Energy Industries Association, a number of trends prove the future of solar energy is secure.
Employment, growth, state incentives and expanding adoption of the technology is making solar an even larger part of the American economy.
“From coast to coast, solar is having a huge impact on both our economy and environment,” said CEO of SEIA Rhone Resch, ACHRNews reported. “Today, the solar industry employs nearly 175,000 Americans and pumps more than $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy – and we’re just scratching the surface of our enormous potential.”
Demand for energy savings and efficiency
The expansion of solar use is indicative of the larger issue at stake: Energy efficiency. In many industries, particularly those in heavy-duty or harsh environments, energy costs can make up nearly half of operational budgets. More specifically, companies in these industries rely upon round-the-clock energy output to keep production lines running and volume at full capacity. The amount of energy required to power these operations costs billions, and minor inefficiencies can set business back considerably.
This is a growing concern in the HVAC industry as well, with HVAC manufacturers having to design new equipment and materials that can keep pace with the heightened demand for energy efficiency. In some cases, businesses can reduce their carbon footprints and energy costs significantly by retrofitting their HVAC systems with updated and advanced parts.
Perhaps the most effective way to improve HVAC performance is to install coated HVAC coils, which can make the system draw less electricity and help businesses save money immediately from the time of installation. As a result, companies are more competitive in the marketplace and have greater capital to use on new projects that promote the growth of their business.
Keeping an eye on HVAC efficiency will help align firm’s sustainability goals with those of the larger energy trends impacting the economy and the environment.
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