Australian hotels pioneering renewable energy and storage

The paradigm of power generation is changing, and an increasing number of decentralised small-scale cleantech solutions are evolving. For technology providers, the first reference projects are extremely important milestones of the market-entry process.

Hotels and resorts have often demonstrated their role as first movers for green technologies, and they can obtain advantages beyond cost savings by applying new cleantech technologies. A 2013 study by McGraw-Hill Construction, entitled Green Retail and Hospitality Report – Waste Management found the core business of hotels, in general, is positively affected by green efforts.

In addition, new cleantech technologies have considerable marketing potential and might allow hotels and resorts to gain an advantageous position in relation to a new target segment. The cleantech industry has steadily grown in recent years and has become economically important. For many employees within the cleantech industry, green commitment plays an important role during the private purchasing process.

Recent projects in the Maldives and Australia, where luxury resorts are fully powered by solar power plus storage, have created new dynamism in this sector and have increased the pressure on hotels and resorts that are not committed to cleantech.

“For windsurfing or kitesurfing resorts, new wind technologies might be more interesting than solar. For a desert resort, vice versa. For some island resorts, wave energy might be the preferred option,” THEnergy managing director Thomas Hillig said.

“Several resorts have realised their first installations and are looking at increasing their renewable energy share. Typically, several solutions compete, such as integrating another type of renewable energy or storage.”

“In the hospitality sector, we see big differences in the readiness for renewable-energy commitment and willingness to be a first mover for new cleantech technologies.”

Some large hotel chains have dedicated cleantech departments, and some owners of smaller establishments are extremely eco-minded.

“With our online platform for renewables on islands, we have already made a first step toward a particularly interesting sub-segment,” Mr Hillig said.

“We have learned that the economic framework conditions are extremely positive and that we, as a consultancy, due to considerable market intransparency, can add huge value for both – hotels and resorts and renewable energy players. This is why we are establishing cleantech for hotels and resorts as a second consulting focus – besides renewables for mining.”

Original article published by Nye Longman for Business Review Australia.