renewable energy
Can retail benefit from solar power?
24th June 2016

Many retail stores are now showing how their operations can be powered by solar power. The likes of Apple, H&M, Costa Coffee, and Ikea have all proven that solar-powered stores and warehouses are possible – and at Low Carbon Energy, we’ve made a solar-powered future possible for some smaller retail groups too.

Which retailers are benefitting from solar and how?

Apple Computers Solar Panel installation in Singapore

In late 2015, Apple announced that it would open its first store in Singapore – and that the store would run entirely on solar power. Apple’s interest in renewable energy has been documented for some time now – but this is the first store to operating solely on solar power.

The company, who are keen to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, will be working with Sunseap, Singapore’s largest clean energy provider, and the Singaporean government to bring solar energy to the country. Apple’s store and office will be powered by solar panels installed on the roofs of 800 buildings in Singapore – which together have a capacity of 50 megawatts of electricity.

H&M advocate solar energy

H&M is another advocate of solar power and renewable energy. In 2014, just 27% of their electric usage came from renewable sources, but this number soon grew. Furthermore, by mid-2014, solar panels, placed on the roofs of H&M warehouses, had generated 785,000 kWh of electricity.

Ikea promote renewable energy

Ikea has been promoting renewable energy for some time now and plans to be a net exporter of renewable energy within four years. As of May this year, the furniture giant produced 53% of its energy from renewable sources. This energy comes from 314 wind turbines and 700,000 solar panels, positioned on its stores and distribution centres.

Costa Coffee leads ‘zero energy’ effort

More recently, Costa Coffee has become a leading company in the UK’s ‘zero energy’ effort. A sustainable Costa Coffee outlet at the Wrekin Retail Park in Telford is now using solar roof panels to power all its operations. The coffee shop has 100 270W panels on its roof and uses passive ventilation and innovative construction techniques in combination with the panels.

Courtesy Shoes solar panel installation

While we’ve concentrated on sharing the success of global brands so far, we’ve also helped Lancashire-based Courtesy Shoes power their operations through solar too. With their new 170 KW solar panel system, the company are producing 140,000 kWh a year and saving 75 tonnes of carbon too!

These case studies reveal a huge number of benefits of solar and prove that powering operations with solar power really is possible.

Benefits of commercial solar include:

  • Guaranteed savings on energy bills
  • Long-term energy security
  • A second stream of income
  • Green conscience
  • Eco-friendly business

If you want to find out ways in which you can improve the energy efficiency of your retail establishment through solar panels, why not get in touch? At Low Carbon Energy we now offer a brand new Energy Consultancy service, perfect for businesses. We’ll look at all your power usage and advise on ways you save money and make the move to a renewable energy future. To find out more, give us a call or head over to our Energy Consultancy page.

Has your retail establishment considered using solar power? If so, let us know what you like about solar and what elements put you off. You can leave your comments below or tweet us @LowCarbonEnCo

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