Governments across the globe are now introducing incentives to encourage a bigger uptake in solar panel installation and other renewable energy forms. But it’s not just homes that are now making the solar choice. In fact, solar panel installation is becoming ever more prevalent in commercial buildings and offices too.
CIS, Manchester, UK
Leading the way in example setting is the Co-operative Insurance Group who, in 2005, unveiled a solar masterpiece. The CIS tower in Manchester, UK was (until recently) the tallest building in Manchester and remains the second tallest today. It is the CIS headquarters and, more impressively, is one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the world. It has 4989 solar photovoltaic panels on it, generating enough electricity annually to power 61 three bedroom houses for a year! This cuts down CIS carbon consumption by 100 tonnes every year. Bravo, CIS!
The Kaohsiung Stadium, Taiwan
This impressive stadium in Taiwan generates 100% of its own electricity needs through solar photovoltaic panels. That’s a 50000 seater stadium running entirely off solar power! And the business brains behind it were certainly in overdrive when they came up with a plan to profit while the stadium is not in use. Its 8400 solar panels generate enough 80% of the power needs for the surrounding area too. So when the stadium is not in use, the power is sold back to the power companies and used to run the villages nearby.
Juwi Headquarters, Germany
Germany has a deserved reputation as a green nation. The country is the world’s solar power leader and its reputation is upheld by its businesses too. The Juwi headquarters is widely considered to be Germany’s most energy efficient building. The office block, located in Worrstadt, houses offices, leisure and sports facilities and dining facilities. The entire roof of the complex is covered in solar photovoltaic panels, seeing to it that the building can generate its entire required power supply. Add to that the incorporation of biomass fuel and extra insulation methods and the building is perfectly eco-friendly!
The Solar Ark, Japan
The Solar Ark is Sanyo’s creation and is an impressive solar panel covered ark shaped building housing a visitor centre, environmental issues educational centre and museum. The building uses 5000 solar photovoltaic panels, generating half a million KWh of electricity every year. Another ingenious and green initiative by Sanyo.
One thing you’ll notice about these example of businesses using solar energy, is that they are all huge companies with money to spend on such installations. But I in no way believe that it’s only the big companies doing their bit. What about you and your small business – what green steps are you taking?