First popularized in the 1980s, shopping malls are at the heart of modern western culture. Marked by the buzz of vibrant displays, the electronic hullabaloo of the gaming zone, and neon lights atop every shop you pass, shopping malls thrum with ecstatic energy and electricity. However, this power is often sourced from coal-fired power stations, which are detrimental to the environment. One way shopping malls can reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy costs is by installing solar power cells, a viable and eco-friendly alternative to coal.
According to Delhi Transco, “A [shopping] mall uses anywhere between 4MW to 10MW of energy, depending on its size — enough to light up a small south Delhi colony comprising nearly 2,000 houses every day.” Considering the immense amount of power consumed by shopping malls on a daily basis, a crucial step in India’s revolution towards green and clean energy is making shopping malls go fully solar. While some malls, such as the Viviana Mall in Thane near Mumbai, have adopted solar panel installation and run purely off of the rays of the sun, much headway remains to be made.
Apart from being beneficial for the environment, there are many reasons why shopping malls should consider solar panel installation. These advantages include but are not limited to the following:
- 1.Reduced Energy Costs
One of the most immediate benefits of solar power for shopping malls is the substantial reduction in energy costs. Shopping malls are notorious for their high energy consumption due to lighting, HVAC systems, escalators, and more. Solar panels harness the sun's energy to generate electricity, allowing malls to offset a significant portion of their traditional energy consumption. This not only saves money but also provides a buffer against future energy price hikes.
Moreover, the solar panel installation cost in India is super cheap, and estimated to fall even further. For example, currently, a 100 kW on-grid solar panel system, sufficient to power a small-sized shopping, costs between ₹35 lakhs to ₹55 lakhs. Compared to the crores of revenue shopping malls collect every month, the solar panel installation cost is a mere chump change!
Therefore, if shopping malls go solar, they can save lakhs of rupees on electricity bills with a one-time investment in solar panels and help the environment along the way.
- 2.Energy Independence
Is there anything worse than being in a shopping mall and experiencing a power outage? It’s enough to ruin your day out! Shopping malls are expected to be brightly lit be it day or night, full air-conditioned at all times for the comfort of the customers. Experiencing regular power failures can hamper a mall’s reputation, leading to losses worth lakhs of rupees.
Solar power provides shopping malls with a degree of energy independence. With their own source of electricity generation, malls become less reliant on external power suppliers and are better equipped to handle power disruptions or grid failures. This reliability ensures that shops can continue to operate even during adverse conditions, which is crucial for business continuity.
- 3.Incentives and Tax Benefits
Many governments and municipalities offer incentives and tax benefits to encourage the adoption of renewable energy systems like solar power. Currently, there are a number of incentives and tax benefits available to shopping malls adopting solar panel installation in India:
- Capital Subsidies: The Indian government provides financial incentives in the form of capital subsidies to help defray the expenses associated with solar panel installation. For instance, commercial solar panel installations can receive a subsidy of up to 30% of the total system cost.
- Net Metering: Net metering is a billing arrangement that empowers solar panel owners to sell surplus electricity back to the grid. This arrangement offsets grid electricity expenses and ultimately results in savings on electricity bills.
- Renewable Energy Credits (RECs): RECs are transferable certificates that symbolize the environmental advantages of generating electricity from renewable sources. Shopping malls that generate their own electricity using solar panels can earn RECs, which can then be sold to other businesses obligated to fulfil renewable energy targets.
- Accelerated Depreciation: Accelerated depreciation allows businesses to deduct a larger portion of the solar panel system's cost during the initial years of ownership. This tax strategy can helps shopping malls decrease taxable their income and consequently save on tax.
- Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The ITC is a federal tax credit that enables businesses to subtract 30% of the solar panel system's cost from their federal income tax liability.
- 4.Enhancing Customer Appeal
Nobody likes a boring mall. For a shopping mall, goodwill is everything. From how the outside looks to what events take place in the main atrium, malls have to attract customers to engage in social events and shop inside.
Considering that sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers, businesses must start prioritizing eco-friendly practices to enjoy a better brand reputation. By visibly incorporating solar panel installation and promoting their commitment to renewable energy, shopping malls can attract environmentally conscious shoppers and tenants. This enhanced reputation can lead to increased foot traffic and higher demand for retail spaces.
- 5.Future-Proofing the Business
As the world moves towards cleaner energy sources and regulations become stricter, adopting solar power positions shopping malls to remain competitive in a changing market. Moreover, governments are progressively implementing stricter emission targets and incentives for renewable energy adoption. By going solar, shopping malls position themselves to meet current and future regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of penalties or compliance issues.
Shop for a Brighter Future with Waaree
Waaree Energies Ltd is spearheading the solar revolution in India with their high-efficiency and cutting-edge solar systems. Providing services like solar panel installation, operations and maintenance of solar grids, and a wide variety of intelligently crafted solar technologies to choose from, Waaree is the perfect partner for those looking to go solar.
Channelling the sun’s energy, Waaree aims to help businesses and individuals, large or small, to adopt solar panel installation and fully replace traditional energy production that harms the environment and puts the future of the planet at risk. So, appoint Waaree as your energy officer today and let the sun shine bright on you!