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Australia’s abundant sunshine and innovative culture has seen us become world leaders in rooftop residential solar, with over 30 per cent of homes boasting PV panels. Organisations have followed suit in turning to sustainable solutions to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, with solar uptake passing ten percent in 2023 in the business community. Among these innovations, solar car shades have emerged as a promising avenue for businesses looking to harness solar power while improving how their staff and customers experience their facilities. 

Solar car shades have come a long way since early Smart projects like the Macadamia Castle near Byron Bay. Today, advancements in engineering and technology have made solar car shades more efficient and aesthetically pleasing than ever before. 

We sat down with Smart’s expert on solar car shades, Anastasi, to discuss the potential of this solution for businesses. 


Understanding Solar Car Shades

In simple terms, a solar car shade is a canopy structure equipped with solar panels, providing both shelter for vehicles and renewable energy generation. Anastasi describes solar car shades as "a practical blend of function and sustainability, seamlessly integrating renewable energy into everyday infrastructure." 

Unlike rooftop solar systems, solar car shades offer flexibility in installation and scalability in energy generation. By utilising underutilised car park spaces, businesses can maximise their solar energy output without the constraints of existing infrastructure.

"Solar car shades provide businesses with a versatile solution adaptable to various terrains and architectural configurations, unlocking new opportunities for renewable energy generation," notes Anastasi. 


Top 5 Benefits of Solar Car Shades for Business

Several factors are driving the increased adoption of solar car shades. Escalating electricity costs have made solar energy more economically attractive, with businesses seeing tangible returns on investment.  

Solar car shades offer compelling benefits across the triple bottom line: 

  1. Financially, businesses can enjoy significant cost savings on electricity bills from the power generated by solar car shades. Solar car shades increase capacity for solar pv when roof space is insufficient to accommodate enough panels to meet a business’s energy demand, enabling further cost saving.  
  2. Environmentally, solar car shades contribute to reducing carbon emissions and advancing sustainability goals.  
  3. Socially, solar car shades allow businesses to enhance their reputation as environmentally conscious leaders in their communities. As a more visible sustainability measure, they raise awareness of clean energy initiatives, while providing social benefit to those who shelter under them while getting into and out of their vehicles. 
  4. Properties equipped with solar car shades increase in value. Potential buyers and tenants appreciate the forward-thinking approach towards sustainability and the increased amenity of the parking area for staff and visitors. The longevity of these structures, combined with the minimal maintenance required, makes them a practical investment in the long run.

  5. EV Chargers can easily be integrated into solar car shade structures, with AC and DC integrated charging solutions available. The enclosed, secure design protects charging technology from weather and damage.


Key Considerations 

Businesses considering solar car shades should conduct thorough feasibility studies to assess the suitability of their car park spaces. Geotechnical assessments and site surveys are essential to determine the feasibility of installation.  

Additionally, businesses should evaluate the potential for integrating solar car shades into ongoing renovations or redesigns, maximising their benefits and impact. 

Finally, opportunities may exist for businesses to benefit from government incentives and rebates. Smart work with trusted partners including Northmore Gordon, who contributed to this blog, who can assist our customers in understanding what they may be eligible for.


Summing Up 

Advancements in fabrication techniques have made solar car shades more affordable and accessible. Anastasi is confident that "businesses are increasingly recognising the economic and environmental advantages of solar car shades, driving their widespread adoption,”  

Solar car shades represent more than just a technological innovation; they signify a commitment to sustainability and progress. As businesses embrace renewable energy solutions, solar car shades emerge as a cornerstone of sustainable development. With their ability to deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits, solar car shades offer a compelling business case for organisations looking to lead the charge towards a cleaner, greener future. 



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Written by
Smart Team

The Smart Marketing Team

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