Sustainable Living with HOMA: The Benefits of Solar Power

In the past decades, rising concerns over the world’s climate and environmental well-being have initiated a series of responses to collectively tackle the issue. At both international and domestic levels, many individuals and organizations have already started taking serious measures to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices within their communities. With that said, HOMA is no stranger to sustainability.

As the first Multifamily Residence Platform in Thailand to achieve the LEED and EDGE certifications, our value proposition stems from the drive to become the leader in sustainable living in Thailand. And just as 2022 came to a close, we decided to start the new year a whole lot greener and cleaner.

Thanks to the loan under the UOB Real Estate Sustainable Finance Framework, HOMA Phuket Town successfully installed over 240 kWp of solar panels on our rooftop and parking lot. Another significant milestone in making our co-living complex more sustainable – through solar power.

In order to comprehend the importance of solar power, it’s good to fully understand what it is and how it works. If you already know how solar power works, you can skip directly to its benefits.

What is solar power?

For those who are new to the concept of solar power, it’s a form of renewable energy that is generated from the sun or sunlight. This energy is converted into electricity through the use of concentrated solar panels (CSP) or through photovoltaic cells (PV).

How does Concentrated solar power (CSP) work?

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is an approach that generates electricity through mirrors or lenses by reflecting sunlight onto a focus point to concentrate the sun’s energy. This energy is then converted to thermal energy which is then used to generate electricity through a turbine or engine. This method is typically used in large-scale power plants.

How do Photovoltaic cells (PV) work?

As for PV cells, they are commonly known as solar panels that are typically installed on rooftops or in open areas which are connected to a main electrical grid. The cells are made of semiconductor materials such as silicon and are designed to convert sunlight into electricity. Below is an artwork explaining how PV cells work.

How solar panels generate electricity
How solar panels generate electricity – Source: ElectricRate

Since our living complex is located on the tropical island of Phuket, we welcome plenty of sunshine each year – making it reasonable to choose this approach at HOMA Phuket Town.

Now that we know how solar power works, let’s take a look at its benefits.

The Benefits of Solar Power

Benefits of solar power

Not only is solar wholesome for the environment, but it also reduces pollutants and improves air quality – making it healthier for our residents. Let’s explore more advantages of switching to solar energy.

Solar is a renewable resource

Renewable resource refers to energy sources derived from abundant natural resources that can be replenished continuously; such as those originating from wind, sun, water, geothermal heat, and biomass. These sources have a natural ability to self-regenerate over time, making them a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels which are limited and will eventually run out.

List of countries leading the charge on renewable energy sources ♻️

Interesting statistics on renewable energy
Interesting statistics on renewable energy Source: un.org

Solar is clean

As quoted by the UN, “Energy is at the heart of the climate challenge – but also the key to the solution.” Implementing renewable energy at the global level is an important solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

An analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that widespread solar adoption can significantly reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, which is critical to protecting humans, wildlife, and ecosystems.

HOMA Phuket Town Buildings
Clean Air Around HOMA Phuket Town Buildings

Don’t be a fossil fool – go solar!

On the flip side, fossil fuels create a lot of pollutants that are bad for the environment and for our health. Sadly, they still account for more than 80% of global energy production – emitting over 75% of global greenhouse gas and responsible for nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, these numbers need to be halved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. To achieve this, we must end our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternative sources of energy that are clean, accessible, affordable, sustainable, and reliable.

Solar power works anywhere

Wherever you go, solar energy can follow. As long as there is sunshine, solar energy can be deployed – making it a practical solution in any location with access to sunlight. This is especially valuable in remote areas lacking access to traditional electricity sources.

Given the large number of people globally without electricity, independent solar systems offer the potential solution to improve the lives of millions. By installing such systems, we could bring light and energy to communities previously in the dark.

Solar reduces energy costs and dependency

Slash your energy bill and break free from the grid. By utilizing solar power, you can significantly decrease your energy expenses. And as you generate more energy, your reliance on the supplier decreases, which in turn increases your energy self-sufficiency.

Since the sun shines across the globe, solar offers improved energy security as it can be generated locally and does not rely on imports from other countries. Its accessibility allows every country to be a potential energy producer, thus allowing for greater energy independence and security.

Solar energy creates jobs

Solar power has been growing exponentially and is predicted that it will continue in the coming decades. The solar industry has become one of the most important sectors in the green economy and is providing employment opportunities for millions of people across the globe.

In 2021, the renewable energy sector created 12.7 million jobs worldwide, a jump of 700,000 new jobs from the year before. While in the US alone, the solar industry has already generated over 250,000 jobs and is expected to reach 400,000 jobs by 2030. The future of solar power looks very bright indeed.

Our results ????

After making the switch to solar in December, HOMA Phuket Town managed to save 49 tons of standard coal and avoided over 58 tons of CO2 as of this writing.

This is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from;

  • 10.2 homes’ electricity use for one year
  • 11.3 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year
  • 5,921 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • 6,400,436 smartphones charged

It’s also equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions avoided by;

  • 18.2 tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled
  • 870 tree seedlings grown for 10 years
  • 1,994 incandescent lamps switched to LEDs
HOMA Phuket Town Solar Panels
HOMA Phuket Town Solar Panels

The installation of solar panels along with many other sustainable practices at HOMA Phuket Town will help reduce around 325 tons of CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year. That’s equivalent to having approximately 5,370 new trees planted over 10 years or taking 71 cars off the road for a year. So why dig up the past when you can harness the power of the sun?

Sustainable Living with HOMA

HOMA Community Beach Cleanup at Nai Harn Phuket
HOMA Community Beach Cleanup

Our decision to make the switch to a renewable source has not only helped us to reduce our energy costs and increase energy independence, but it also protects the local environment, improves air quality within our community, and supports the growth of renewable energy in Thailand.

This brings us one step closer to our goal of becoming the ultimate living experience: one that is environmentally friendly, affordable, and tech-enabled while incorporating forward-thinking ESG principles.

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