Tech and retail giants are embracing solar power


Commitment to renewable energy has grown in recent years as investment in the field increases, with the technology retail industry spearheading it.

Companies, including big names such as Apple and Amazon, have embraced renewable energy sources in an effort to green their operations and limit their impact on the environment.

Apple led US companies with nearly 400 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity, followed by other giants such as Amazon and Walmart, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industrial Association (SEIA).

As for Turkey, investments have increased in parallel with the increase in the use of solar energy.

Smart Solar Technologies is among the emerging players in the industry, defining itself as one of the leading integrated solar energy companies in Europe.

It operates in turnkey installation services and PV module production and offers a wide range of solar energy solutions to commercial and retail users.

The Istanbul-based company managed to close 2021 with a turnover of around $95 million (TL 14.05 billion). Accelerating its ambitions to become a major global player, it is now a candidate for the stock exchange as it plans to list soon on the Istanbul Borsa Stock Exchange (BIST).

The company was given the green light for its initial public offering (IPO) by the Capital Markets Board (SPK) and its building was due to open on Friday.

Investment in cellular technology

Smart Solar Technologies plans to increase its investment in research and development (R&D), as well as support tech startups, according to its co-founder and CEO, Halil Demirdağ.

Demirdağ said the company will allocate one-third of the resources it hopes to gain from the IPO for investment in the Aliağa district of the Aegean province of Izmir, where it plans to set up a production plant. of solar cells.

Expressing that they will increase their investments with cellular technology, which is the cornerstone of solar panels, Demirdağ said, “Behind our IPO story is the idea of ​​branding, institutionalization and ‘becoming a global player”. Our goal is to grow faster and increase profitability.

Major potential

Demirdağ went on to explain the company’s goal of reaching $1 billion in annual revenue within the next 10 years, highlighting the strong solar cell investment potential for Turkey.

“Turkey can be a serious player in the field of cells in the world. Our country has the potential to become a major player in solar energy with its sub-industry through a push similar to that of the automotive sector,” he noted.

The investments are promising for the future of the industry, Demirdağ said. “Turkey is not in the world’s top five in solar energy, but that’s exactly what Turkey is going to do,” he noted.

“Because the Turkish contracting industry undertakes major projects around the world, investments in solar energy can also serve as a continuation.”

100,000 employees

The solar energy industry provides jobs for around 100,000 people in Turkey, said Demirdağ, who is also the head of the Turkish Solar Energy Industry Association (GENSED). He also pointed out that there is approximately $3 billion generated annually in the solar economy.

Smart Solar Technologies manages its production using the latest technologies, the CEO said.

“We are installing double-sided solar panels. Thanks to this, we can get solar energy even from the reflections of white snow or white pebbles lying on a surface,” he said.

Demirdağ said he started his business in Sarıoğlan, a small town in the central Turkish province of Kayseri, which is very competitive and is called the “northernmost region in the sun”.

“There was a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). We carried out an installation in cooperation with the Chinese company Sumec. In 2015, Turkey introduced regulations paving the way for a halt to domestic solar energy production and imports. So we decided to expand and with a total investment of $30 million, including $12 million in the first stage, we established facilities in Gebze, where our production is currently underway.

Halil Demirdağ, CEO of Smart Solar Technologies.

Solar efficiency

Demirdağ went on to highlight Turkey’s solar energy efficiency, which he says is even better than that of Germany, a major investor in renewable energy.

“Believe me, even the Black Sea province of Rize, one of the regions considered to be the weakest in solar energy, is better off than Germany. The best regions of our country are 2.5 times more efficient than Germany,” he suggested.

“There is a generation potential of 5,000 MW in Turkey, of which only 1,300 MW-1,500 MW is produced. The growth of the sector will accelerate with the new regulations put in place and the decisions that will be made.

Tech and retail sectors embrace solar power

It’s no wonder that large corporations are showing increasing interest in owning and installing their own solar and renewable energy projects.

Tech and retail giants have reaffirmed this and expressed their commitments through their regular statements to the public.

Apple is the top buyer of corporate solar in the United States with nearly 400 MW of total installed capacity, followed by Amazon with nearly 370 MW and Walmart with more than 331 MW, according to SEIA’s 2019 report.

Apple is investing in solar power in Apple Park, offices and data centers, which it opened at a cost of $5 billion.

Installed capacity (MW)

1. Apple – 398.3

2. Amazon – 369

3.Walmart – 331

4. Target – 284.8

5.Google-245.3

Source: Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)

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