Renewable energies, three myths of photovoltaic dissipation

Posted on April 29, 2022

Renewable energies are set for very significant growth in the coming years. In fact, it is estimated in Europe that by 2026 PV alone could make up nearly half of the global energy power. 2021 has also been confirmed as the year of the renewable energy boom. (data lea – International Energy Agency) also Elmic Solar – A company from Brunello (VA) part of the Elmec group that deals with environmental sustainability, in the first months of 2021 the demand for industrial PV systems grew by 239% compared to the three months of the previous year. At the base of this boom, there are advantages associated with implementing this technology, which have emerged most clearly in this context of the energy crisis: immediate savings on bills, amortization costs in 4-6 years and clean energy production guaranteed for 40 working years free of charge after amortizing the initial cost.

The energy crisis, which was born at the end of 2021 and worsened at the beginning of 2022, could worsen with the onset of the conflict in Ukraine. Energy prices have reached unprecedented levels. Unfortunately, emergency response is often geared towards reliance on fossil fuels that will run out sooner or later, as well as releasing carbon dioxide into the environment. for this reason, More than ever, a paradigm shift based on sustainable supply forms that boast the use of a particular inexhaustible energy source, and above all the sun, is urgent. This is primarily a cultural change, and to make it happen, a series of myths that persist in public opinion must be dispelled.

“Photovoltaics are a tool for producing clean energy at a really marginal cost. It is also very fast to implement. Unlike other systems, in fact, the photovoltaic system is already up and running a few days after installation.” says Alessandro Villa, CEO of Elmec Solar and member of the Italia Solare board , we’re talking about two days of work in a residential factory and a few weeks on a large industrial facility.” “We need to change the concept behind energy supply; We must untie our finished fossil sources, which are not sustainable. Renewable energy sources create new opportunities for research and work (European Union Institute estimate on the impact of the transition to renewables on the economy sees labor demand in the sector increasing in the EU by 5 million new workers by 2050), building new production initiatives in Europe to make us more strategically independent; To revolutionize the concept of the city, mobility: all that is needed for a new renaissance”, concludes Alessandro Villa.

If we talk about companies, there are some Myths to dispel.

First: the impact of investing in photovoltaics on the income statement.

In the popular imagination, the cost of photovoltaic cells is seen as a barrier. However, this is an irrational idea dictated only by the initial investment evaluation. In fact, construction costs are fully amortized in the first 4-6 years, out of 40 of the life of the plant. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the immediate benefits that a photovoltaic system can provide, starting with savings in the bill, to arrive at the value it brings with it compared to the responsible corporate image and the consequent confidence generation. On the part of stakeholders, customers, end consumer. An investment in a photovoltaic system is equal to an investment in production machinery.

The second: that the photovoltaic systems became obsolete and unusable in a short time.

PV systems are reliable technologies that require very little maintenance. If we then look at the power production capacity per square meter, monocrystalline silicon (the most widely used material for photovoltaic production) is now approaching the theoretical efficiency limit. So today’s investors don’t need to worry about fast obsolescence. Moreover, considering the intrinsic characteristics of the product, the solar system production loss is now between 0.25% BAT and 0.5% per year. It equals a yield that drops from 100% to 90-80% at the end of the life cycle. So there is no need to change technology quickly.

The third: the inability of companies to meet their energy needs with renewable sources.

Is it really possible for a company to install a PV system by dramatically reducing energy costs? The answer is yes. It is clear that it is necessary to calculate the relationship between the needs, the available space and the moment of use. Also in the industrial PV sector there is the possibility of energy accumulation for use at night, in the event of a power outage or reduced productivity due to meteorology. And even if only a small part, 10-20%, is covered, there are still a lot of economic resources saved, which can be used to invest in regeneration, in welfare schemes, in basic investments. Then there are cases where the installed system covers almost 100% of the electricity requirement. Nor is it the ultimate proof of Nissan’s production plant in Sunderland, England, which is all green and equipped with a system of 19,000 solar panels that has reduced emissions of more than 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

At this point, it is a project to ask: What element, information, do companies lack in order to make decisions about the most sustainable type of energy supply? in the first place, A corporate support policy will be needed.

Especially in light of the repercussions of the epidemic – which has not yet exhausted its negative effects in many respects on the balance sheets of many companies – liquidity must be provided at subsidized prices, repayable in an appropriate period of time, guaranteed by a logic that takes into account the value of energy production that compares to photovoltaics the overall needs of society.

In this regard, Article 15 of the Sostegni-ter Decree (Legislative Decree No. 4/2022) has already been introduced. An exceptional contribution, in the form of a tax credit, in favor of so-called “energy-intensive” companies, which are companies characterized by high demand for energy in the production stages, to ensure that they partially compensate for the additional costs incurred by the exceptional rise in energy prices. In order to access the subsidy, the average cost per kWh of the electricity component relating to the fourth quarter of 2021, after tax and any subsidies, must be 30% higher than the average of those relating to the fourth quarter of 2019. Businesses are entitled to that meet this requirement receive a tax credit equal to 20% of the expenditure incurred for the energy component purchased and actually used in the first quarter of 2022.

Secondly, On the basis of the lack of interest in the issue of renewable energies, there is still a cultural imbalance: Last year, the compound growth (for renewable energies) in Italy was only 936.38 megawatts. Each year it should be about 800 megawatts. For this reason, it is necessary to build a common culture because many entrepreneurs even today are not aware of the benefits and advantages behind the installation of a photovoltaic system.

“Today, more than ever, we need to bridge this cultural divide based on a lack of interest in the use of photovoltaics,” concludes Alessandro Villa, CEO of Elmec Solar and member of the Italia Solare board. “It is imperative to act concretely to support businesses – as well as individuals – regarding this development opportunity that presents itself every day before our eyes, both through investment support policies but above all through building a conscience and shared knowledge.”

Leave a Comment