Tech giants fueling renewable energy set to overtake AI trends

Renewable energy is gaining more momentum than ever before, and global tech is banking on it.

SolarBank Corporation (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2), a leader in the renewable industry was recently awarded C$107 million1 in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts across North America.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Listen, the most insatiable demand right now is pointed at domestic solutions for renewable resources.

And that’s exactly what SolarBank is helping to solve.

Disseminated on behalf of SolarBank Corporation. Please see “Disclaimer” for important additional information.

SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) demonstrates success in the solar sector

In 2017, a 30-year partnership with Maryland, U.S. aimed to solarize the state’s transportation network. The company has built over 70 MWp in solar projects across North America, including four Community Solar Projects in 2018, generating 10.2 MW, sold in 2019. The company had completed over 150 projects generating enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. The company has also managed over $200 million in project financing.

It doesn’t stop there.

Success continued with a 7 MWp Community Solar Farm in 2020, three commercial solar projects in 2021, and initiation of six diverse projects in 2022.

In a major 2023 achievement, SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) partnered with Honeywell International Inc.,—a $133-billion-dollar powerhouse—for three 7 MW solar installations in New York, valued at $41 million, an amount greater than its entire fiscal 2022 revenue. Building on their previous collaboration on a solar power plant supporting Onondaga Lake’s restoration.

In the same year, SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) secured C$36 million in EPC contracts for Battery Energy Storage System projects in Canada and an $11.35 million EPC contract for a New York Community Solar Project, strengthening its future plans.

Why Solar?

In the current landscape, solar energy has gained unprecedented importance and demand due to its pivotal role in addressing global environmental concerns and fostering energy sustainability.

Governments worldwide, particularly in North America, are implementing robust policies to accelerate the shift towards solar power, recognizing its potential to reduce carbon emissions.

This surge in demand is propelled by the combination of technological advancements making solar more affordable, coupled with an increasing commitment from governments and tech giants to transition away from fossil fuels.

Key factors driving the heightened demand for solar:

In the current landscape, solar energy has gained unprecedented importance and demand due to its pivotal role in addressing global environmental concerns and fostering energy sustainability.

Governments worldwide, particularly in North America, are implementing robust policies to accelerate the shift towards solar power, recognizing its potential to reduce carbon emissions.

This surge in demand is propelled by the combination of technological advancements making solar more affordable, coupled with an increasing commitment from governments and tech giants to transition away from fossil fuels.

Key factors driving the heightened demand for solar:

Environmental Imperative:

  • Environmental degradation has prompted a critical reevaluation of energy sources.
  • Solar energy, being clean and renewable, emerges as a sustainable alternative, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon footprints.

Technological Advances:

  • Rapid advancements in solar technology have significantly lowered costs, making solar energy more accessible and economically viable.
  • Improved efficiency and innovative solutions contribute to the increasing adoption of solar power across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

Government Policy and Incentives:

  • Governments worldwide are instituting policies to encourage and mandate the integration of solar energy.
  • Financial incentives, tax credits, and subsidies are offered to individuals and businesses adopting solar solutions, enhancing the economic viability of such initiatives.

Energy Security and Independence:

  • Solar energy contributes to reducing dependence on traditional energy sources, promoting energy security.
  • Governments recognize the strategic importance of diversifying energy portfolios, and solar power plays a key role in achieving energy independence.

Job Creation and Economic Growth:

  • The solar industry’s expansion generates employment opportunities, fostering economic growth.
  • Governments are keenly aware of the positive impact of a flourishing solar sector on job creation and economic development.

Public Awareness and Demand:

  • Increasing awareness among the public about the environmental impact of traditional energy sources drives demand for cleaner alternatives.
  • Consumers, both residential and corporate, are actively seeking sustainable solutions, pushing the demand for solar energy.

Global Energy Transition Goals:

  • Nations are committing to ambitious renewable energy targets as part of broader efforts to transition to a low-carbon future.
  • Solar energy, with its scalability and environmental benefits, is a cornerstone in achieving these national and global energy transition goals.

It’s bigger than AI?

A recent report published on Nasdaq.com2 suggests the renewable energy transition is a “big picture idea” that shouldn’t lose its luster.

Unlike AI, renewable energy is being globally mandated, meaning no matter what changes or what new technology is introduced, energy will always be in demand and is growing more than ever before.

The report says, the performance of the renewable energy industry in 2023 illustrates how quickly markets can abandon an idea and turn their attention toward a different opportunity, even if the theme has plenty of room to run over time.

Often big-picture ideas can lose their luster when the cycle shifts to the downside, the report suggests. Trendy new tech like AI is a perfect example of this.

And while solar is under a similar microscope, the risk of what the report calls “losing its luster,” is unlikely for renewable energy.

The report explicitly states solar has plenty of room to run and there are many exchange-traded funds (ETFs) worth considering.

Enphase Energy, First Solar, and SolarEdge Technologies were a mere handful of the largest holdings and make up nearly 30% of the Invesco Solar ETF.

But there are plenty of companies in the ETF you might never have heard of — many of them being international parts and component suppliers or technology companies.

It’s clear that, unlike artificial intelligence, which is energy-intensive and relies heavily on electronic components, solar power harnesses the sun’s natural abundance, offering a cleaner, renewable alternative.

Its popularity stems from a widespread commitment to clean energy. Solar solutions not only provide an efficient means of electricity generation but also symbolize a conscious choice for a greener and more sustainable future, making it a more eco-friendly option than AI.

Major players in solar:

Apple had already committed to powering all its buildings with 100% clean energy, but now, Apple is investing in a Texas solar farm to offset the energy consumed when charging devices. The company is working with suppliers to help them move to renewable energy, and over 200 of Apple’s major suppliers committed to shift to 100% renewable energy. Apple plans to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Microsoft had already pledged to be 100% renewable by 2025. Its most recent domestic deal settled a total commitment to 12 (GWh), enough to power around 1.8 million homes. It is meant to help establish a solar supply chain in the United States to compete with China. Currently, most panels assembled in the United States use components made in Asia, where prices have dropped sharply in the last year. The solar modules will be supplied by Qcells’ highly anticipated fully-integrated solar supply chain factory in Cartersville, Georgia, which is a part of Qcells’ $2.5 billion investment announced last year. Incentives in President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act seek to bolster U.S. production of clean energy components to reduce that reliance on overseas-produced goods.

Apple had already committed to powering all its buildings with 100% clean energy, but now, Apple is investing in a Texas solar farm to offset the energy consumed when charging devices. The company is working with suppliers to help them move to renewable energy, and over 200 of Apple’s major suppliers committed to shift to 100% renewable energy. Apple plans to become carbon neutral by 2030.

SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) positioned in a sweet spot

SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) is at the top of the game with its decade-long activity in the solar industry.

The company has managed to build its portfolio while maintaining its reputation of success in engineering, construction, and management.

We know SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) isn’t alone in the race to provide renewable energy.

But, it is one of the players that has expertise expanding across the vast spectrum of the energy market:

  1. Behind the Meter (BTM) Projects: These installations empower businesses to produce their own energy, enhancing energy independence and cost savings.
  2. Community Solar Projects: By allowing multiple stakeholders to benefit from a single solar farm, these projects democratize access to clean energy and offer financial incentives through credits on electric bills.
  3. Utility-Scale Solar Farms: These large installations are the backbone of solar’s integration into the grid, providing substantial power generation capacity.

Robust Leadership

The success behind SolarBank (CSE: SUNN; OTC: SUUNF; FSE: GY2) has to come from somewhere and someone.

So, who is actually the brains and hands behind these major initiatives?

  • Richard Lu, a global energy expert with a diverse background spanning North America, Europe, and Asia. His previous roles at dynaCERT Inc., Sky Solar Holdings Co., Ltd., ARISE Technology Corporation, Toronto Hydro Corporation, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., and Dillon Consulting highlight his leadership caliber.
  • Andrew van Doorn, COO, with an impressive track record in renewable energy and utility sectors. His leadership as Chairman of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CANSIA) and his extensive experience in solar project completion underscore his expertise.
  • Sam Sun, CFO, a Chartered Professional Accountant with a rich history in corporate finance and accounting across multiple industries, brings a wealth of financial acumen to the table.
  • Tracy Zheng, CAO, whose strategic prowess in brand marketing, investments, and business development has been sharpened by years of experience with Colgate-Palmolive, Clairol, and other prominent firms.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you don’t drive an EV, or use AI, or even own an iPhone.

The point is obvious.

We are living in a world moving more and more towards renewable energy, and whether we can keep up with demand or not, it will always exist and the coming 5 years are pivotal for this.

SolarBank’s capacity to deliver on its development plan shines as brightly as the dawn of the solar age.

1https://investmentpolicy.unctad.org/investment-policy-monitor/measures/4004/-369-billion-in-investment-incentives-to-address-energy-security-and-climate-change-
2https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/theres-only-one-megatrend-i-like-more-than-ai-in-2024

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