With oil prices declining and many renewable energy sources available, the future of traditional oil and gas looks uncertain. Companies and individuals in the energy industry are therefore looking for alternative ways to raise funds to ensure the sustainability of their businesses.
Unfortunately, many businesses in the industry struggle to obtain affordable loans, especially in the early stages of development. Many banks and lending institutions may refuse to provide loans to companies in the energy sector due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of oil and gas prices.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional loans for businesses in the energy sector, including business loans for solar energy. We examine the various options available and examine how each one should be considered before making a decision.
Business Loans for Solar Energy: The Basics
A solar energy loan is simply a loan made for a company’s solar energy project. The loan will typically be repaid over a period of time with interest, according to the terms agreed upon when the loan was granted. The proceeds from the loan will then be used to purchase one of the company’s pieces of equipment, such as a solar panel array, that generates solar energy. In this way, the business ends up both reducing its energy expenses and improving its bottom line. Many banks and lending institutions see this as a risk-free investment and are therefore more than willing to lend.
Which Type of Business Should Focus On Solar Energy?
Many businesses, including energy companies, can benefit from investing in solar energy. The demand for solar power is forecasted to grow 26% year from 2020 to 2025, reaching 16.9 GW. In comparison, the global energy market is expected to only grow 3% over the same time period. That’s a big gap to fill!
In addition to having the potential to save you a lot of money, investing in solar energy also generates cash flow from day one. If you’re looking to generate quick cash, why not consider investing in solar energy instead of other types of businesses that might require more time to generate the same level of revenue?
What Is the Equipment Typically Used in Solar Energy Projects?
A solar energy project will typically use one of two types of equipment: solar panels or concentrators. Let’s take a quick look at what these products are and how they work.
Solar panels are, essentially, large surface area photovoltaic cells that convert light energy into electrical energy. They are more commonly used in residential solar power projects but can also be found in large-scale commercial projects. A typical residential solar panel, for example, can produce up to 10 to 20 kW of power, while large-scale commercial versions can produce up to 300 kW or more. That’s a lot of electricity!
The beauty of solar panels is that they’re very easy to install and fairly durable, making them a popular choice among homeowners or businesses in need of a renewable energy solution.
On the other hand, a concentrator utilizes lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight on smaller, specialized photovoltaic cells, allowing for higher efficiencies and more generated power. A typical concentrator uses four to eight cells, while large-scale models use tens of thousands of tiny solar cells, called pixels, to achieve the same level of performance as a solar panel.
The increased efficiency and decreased size of the pixels allows for a more compact and portable device, making them a popular choice for military applications, where size is a major consideration.
Which one you’ll choose really depends on your needs. If you have a small business looking for a more affordable and flexible option, consider going with solar panels. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more permanent and reliable energy solution, then a concentrator is the way to go.
How Do Solar Energy Loans Work?
Once you’ve decided to invest in solar energy, the next step is to find a lender that can provide you with the appropriate loan. Most financial institutions that provide loans for businesses have a special section or program designed for investments in renewable energy sources, like solar power. Simply follow the guidelines set out by the lender to ensure you get the best rate possible and can make the most of this lucrative business opportunity.