There have been tremendous strides in the generation and storage of solar energy, making it one of the fastest growing alternative energy sources available today. Where it used to cost a small fortune to install and maintain even a small solar plant to produce electricity, prices in recent years have dropped by more than 65%. This makes it a more attractive proposal for businesses looking to reduce their expenses, as well as their carbon footprint. One Costa Rican entrepreneur and successful businessman, Jose Daniel Duarte, is taking charge and joining other business owners in the country to begin using solar energy at the majority of his businesses.

Duarte has several brick-and-mortar operations around the country, as well as a strong e-commerce presence. All of these consume a great deal of energy, and he has taken steps to start implementing an almost exclusive use of solar to supply electricity across the board. “After reviewing the cost of installation and weighing it against the savings,” explains Duarte, it was evident that there was enough of a return on the investment to make it worthwhile. Once the systems are operational, within 6 or 7 years max, they will have paid for themselves.” He has begun with his auto parts and customization center in Heredia, DecoCar, and plans on having the installation completed at all businesses before the end of the year.

Apart from the obvious cost savings that can be achieved, solar provides a positive impact on the environment. Whereby traditional sources of electricity generation such as coal and petroleum can harm the atmosphere through carbon dioxide emissions, solar production is completely passive and doesn’t have any negative environmental implications. In Costa Rica, where “being green” is an important part of everyday life, reducing one’s carbon footprint is a priority. “I’ve been following the advancements in solar technology for years,” says Duarte “because of the significant role it plays in protecting our environment. It’s a fundamental aspect of my businesses that we always maintain an awareness of how our actions could impact Mother Nature.” Duarte anticipates that around 85 tons less carbon dioxide will be sent into the atmosphere once his businesses make the switch.

Duarte is a Costa Rican native who began his business career more than 20 years ago. He opened a small auto parts and customization center in Heredia, Costa Rica with a virtually nonexistent budget. The business, DecoCar, sparked his entrepreneurial spirit and it has grown into a large and still-thriving business today. Through his implementation of strict controls, it is now able to support itself, giving Duarte the freedom to concentrate on other projects while managing an oversight role in operations.

He has grown his business portfolio to operate more than 20 different operations, proving him to be a successful entrepreneur at home and abroad, and tirelessly work on improving Costa Rica’s business community. His businesses range from DecoCar to e-commerce sites, and he is also involved in a software development company. Additionally, Duarte was hand-picked to become a partner and Commercial Director of marketing company DLB Group Worldwide. DLB is an internationally-recognized marketing company with offices in Venezuela, Mexico and, with Duarte’s recruitment, Costa Rica. He was recruited directly by Larry Hernandez, the founder of DLB, to head operations in Costa Rica, and has been responsible for negotiating major contracts with companies like DirectTV, Audi, Subway and DHL.

The insightful entrepreneur joins several other business owners that are looking to solar for their energy needs. Purdy Motor Company, the largest auto dealer in the country, plans on completing its installation in March of this year. Bridgestone Tires, the well-known ice cream chain POPS and the Hospital Clínica Bíblica, among others, have all installed partial or complete solar plants at their locations.

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