The resort and hotel business is extremely competitive and costly. As more and more hotels become increasingly extravagant, they require evermore energy to run. Many are switching to green renewable energies to cut costs and in theory they could eventually become self-sufficient, or even produce an energy surplus. The easiest way to start to do this is with the addition of solar power.
Solar Valley Micro-E
This is the largest solar-powered hotel in the world. Recently opened in Dezhou City, China, the grand entrance to this hotel is almost completely covered in solar panels. The hotel itself spans about 75,000 square meters and is covered in thousands of permanent panels that are worked into the very design of the building itself. Despite how large the total area is the solar energy created, ensures that the hotel can take care of 70% of its energy needs. This energy is used for almost all the hotel functions such as water heating and air conditioning.
Hyatt Regency: New Brunswick
The Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, New Jersey USA has recently installed a 32,000 square foot solar panel system capable of generating 421 kilowatts of power. This system should save around 750 barrels of oil a year. It will also reduce the carbon dioxide produced by around 10,000 tons over the next 30 years. These numbers can only improve, as solar power becomes more popular and more efficient. This means 40 to 50% of the hotel’s power is solar, taking care of all the water heating and all of the electrical appliances.
Joie De Vivre: Hotel Carlton
In San Francisco, California, the Joie de Vivre Hotel Carlton has installed 105 solar panels as part of its eco-friendly initiative. Even this small number of solar panels has helped reduce the hotel’s total energy cost by 12% and provides more than 9% of its electricity. This is estimated to cut down the carbon footprint by 33,000 pounds each year. Guests are encouraged to watch and monitor how these savings and energy production methods are working via monitors set up in the hotel’s lobby.
Down under in Alice Springs, Australia is the Crowne Plaza, the first part of a solar energy project for the city. The update to the hotel’s power grid includes over 1300 photovoltaic modules. These solar cells supply up to 80% of the hotel’s power. This has cut down not only on the hotel’s costs and power needs, but the whole city now requires 0.5% less power from this one set of panels alone.
Boutique Hotel Stadthalle
Located in Vienna, Austria, the Boutique Hotel Stadthalle has fully embraced the advent of solar energy technology. Its power needs are 100% supplied by solar energy – the first hotel in all of Europe to have an energy balance of zero. This is one of many other environmental features the hotel has, including recycling rainwater and roof top gardens, one of which is the largest lavender field in all of Vienna.
It is encouraging to see such profit-driven establishments taking new positive steps to reduce environmental damage. Whilst these hotels are leading the green way, they are not necessarily always expensive to visit. If you are thinking of taking a break somewhere where your conscience can sleep easy, there are plenty of offers available for those who need a holiday loan. The more of us that choose to visit such places, the more the cost will be reduced over time and hopefully the industry will begin to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers.