Reducing Consumption Costs Can Have Social ImpactWed, 02/21/2018 - 17:46
The market of distributed generation is packed with companies offering their services for the installation of photovoltaic panels. In such a competitive market, diversification and an offering of integrated services to not only provide renewable energy but energy savings is an effective differentiating tactic that could propel a business to the top of the ladder.
With this idea in mind, Savesolar was created as a 100 percent Mexican company that offers energy-saving systems to decrease electric and natural gas consumption, says Fabian García, Director General of Savesolar. Among its services, Savesolar offers PV systems, solar heaters and LED lighting to clients from the residential to industrial segments. According to García, thanks to the integration of solar panels with highly-efficient solar heaters into dayto-day consumption, its clients are able to achieve an ROI in less than two years, a big advantage in the market over PV-only solutions.
While solar panels are booming in the market, solar heating is a technology still in its infancy. Because of this, García admits that it can be hard to make clients understand the big benefits the technology can provide, even more when it is corporations that are skeptical. “Large companies seem to prefer PV systems, which have a longer track record, despite the fact that it is costlier and that the time frame for realizing ROI grows threefold compared to solar thermal.”
García puts a great emphasis on the potential Mexico has for the development of solar thermal technologies, as well as to the low number of companies that use it even though they could easily do so and get great energy savings. “For instance, the pharmaceutical industry could benefit greatly as it constantly requires high-temperature systems that solar thermal technologies can provide.”
As an example of Savesolar’s capabilities, García talks about an energy-saving project developed for an international chemical company that manufactures pesticides and aromatic substances. According to García, the project was a challenge due to it being located in Toluca, a particularly cold and cloudy region. Taking these factors into consideration, Savesolar’s design team was able to generate an optimal and efficient output. “We installed 30 heat-pipe solar heaters to heat 10,000 liters of water per day to be used in the company’s shower system by 300 employees. Our heaters allowed up to 80 percent savings in steam consumption,” he says.
To better focus its efforts on bringing solar thermal solutions further into the market, Savesolar is a member of ANES and is working with the German government in an initiative to promote the use of solar thermal technologies called Solar Payback. “We are raising awareness about this project through our clients and the interactions we have with companies that are curious about solar thermal applications.”
García sees the biggest window of opportunity for the usage of solar thermal solutions in the industrial sector, not only due to their high thermal consumption but also for the opportunity they have to lead by example by becoming socially responsible, an opportunity in which Savesolar wants to be a strategic partner. As for the commercial sector he believes that it will be essential too, “but it is still in a state if limbo,” he says. “From small grocery stores to pharmacies, fitness clubs and shopping malls, the cost of their energy consumption prevents them from further growth.” Looking to set a foothold in this particular segment, Savesolar is developing financing schemes to make its technologies more affordable. As for governmental actions, García believes that fiscal incentives could further improve the potential of solar thermal.
Savesolar is also strongly committed to the development of society. Paulina Segovia, Commercial Manager at Savesolar, emphasizes the company's efforts to improve the lives of those most in need. “We are developing energy-saving projects in several foster homes. Energy consumption usually takes the greatest share of the donations made to these institutions. If you can make a difference in their electric and gas bills, these donations can, in turn, be used for other things that benefit the children.” García adds that Savesolar also has several plans in the pipeline involving participation in educational programs in schools, among other things, where its educational efforts can have the greatest impact.