Solar energy

Yes, it can be done

The history of man and energy on this planet are the same. For thousands of years humanity didn’t realize that it was energy, and especially solar energy, allowing life on our planet: warmth and photosynthesis that allowed grass, fruits and animal life to grow. Then fossil energy came along: carbon, petrol, crude oil replaced the sun with the same functions but with two major drawbacks: these sources of energy aren’t limitless and they produce a big amount of pollution.
Today, for the first time, humanity is conscious of these problems and yet again, for the first time, it has a choice. Grivel asked itself the right questions and, as a result, it accepted to condition its development within the maximum possible respect of what we see every morning on our way to work: the Mont Blanc, the Jorasses, the “Dente del Gigante” (the Giant’s tooth). We are aware of being very privileged and therefore we try to give back a part of what we received.
We’d like to define our choices as a stool with 3 legs.

The three legs of equilibrium.

1 The first leg: The choice of energy sources
We were already more than happy for the Hydro-Electrical energy plan that our Valley had put in place, which we were using for our production process. We then decided to go one step further and start producing clean energy exceeding our needs, in order to also sell the same clean energy.
Why Photovoltaic?
First, because it uses an unlimited energy source and it does not produce waste.
Second, because hosting the solar panels on the roof of our factory avoids the usage of other natural ground as the factory is already up and running.
We have impeccably isolated the 7,000 sqm roof to achieve a very high thermal efficiency of the whole building, then we have covered it with solar panels. Each one perfectly integrated with the structure to limit visual impact on the surroundings.

The Sun has now been active for a few billion years and each day it sends to the Earth enough energy to fulfill a year’s demand of the whole planet. Photovoltaic technology transforms sunlight into electrical energy through the use of semi-conductor materials, such as silicon. These materials generate electricity when hit by sunlight.

2 The second leg: save up on land usage, a very limited resource in mountain areas
The available land on high grounds is actually much less than people think when they look from the peak of a mountain where sight runs wild through endless landscapes.
Usable space for agriculture, human settlements and production activities is very scarce and it should be looked after by any means possible. Past generations were much more aware of this and built their settlements in very little communities (the little mountain villages we all love so much) and they had an incredible respect for orography and nature. Our generation at the moment is using up more space than the sum of all the ones before...
For our panels, we used up space that was already taken, our roof. Not a single inch of field was taken from agriculture, stock and to the eye pleasure of the travelers that each year visit our beautiful valley.
Recycle and re-usage will be the laws of the future, not consumption nor occupation.
We want to keep alive and respect our roots, because just like a plant dries out and die without roots, we could end up the same way....

3 The third leg: MADE IN ITALY.
The third leg of our program comes from our will to continue a tradition that is born along with Alpinism itself. In 1818, once over with the Napoleonic madness that ravaged Europe, Grivel blacksmiths started modifying their production of agricultural tools into a new direction, the same that drove a new type of tourists to climb the mountains.

From that moment onward, the metal heated and forged at the feet of Mont Blanc was transformed into Ice Axes, Crampons and pitons. This know how should never be lost, as it was born when life in the mountains wasn’t as easy as today, and people had to emigrate to easier environments. Many in the past have believed in our potential for alpinism, skiing and tourism. That same generation of people is the one behind the birth of Courmayeur and its treasure. We have done so much because so much was left to us. It is common to say: if we have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants. A better economical condition should never justify destroying a know how, born step after step and fueled by snow covered peaks, that has conditioned the mind and body of people for many generations, whose last thought at night was of the mountains and on how to reach their top. We are very well aware of the fact that our essence can never be in a place where Mont Blanc cannot be admired and where the people do not understand the difficulty of the mountains and on the other hand find climbing a waste of time.
From this exact and eradicated belief comes our philosophy of: Made in Italy
Furthermore, we have always been conscious that road transportation is responsible for a significant part of the world pollution. Air transport plays a big part on it too, but we have also learned that sea transport (which we normally see as an acceptable solution) is responsible for the 18-30% of the worldwide pollution of nitrogen oxide and of 9% of the sulphur oxide levels.

Conclusion: We’d like to show the way to the many that are uncertain.
These choices come from our internal belief that better economic conditions should never justify destroying know how and experience, and that there are no better places to be inspired in improving mountain equipment.

We have to respect our Earth and the best message we can leave for the future generations and for the whole world is: yes, it can be done. Being competitive while respecting the environment can be done. Therefore it must be done!

Some numbers
The roof of the factory is around 7000 square meters, and the solar panels are 3656.
Our solar panels generate
around 516 Kwp
They produce the equivalent of the energy consumption of 194 families
They save the planet ‘s air of 806 Kg of CO2, in the atmosphere is the equivalent of a car traveling 5.800Km
During their 25-year lifecycle, they will produce around 12.000.000 KWh, which would cover the needs of one family for 4.200 years
Every year they will save 1.173 barrels of oil

Grivel Solar Energy