What do you think of when you hear the words “sustainable solar energy”? Likely, images of futuristic technologies and sustainable living come to mind. However, what may surprise you is that sustainable solar energy has been around for centuries. Let’s explore the evolution of the sustainable solar energy industry over the past few years and provide a glimpse into its potential future.
About the solar energy industry
Solar energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. It allows homeowners and businesses to generate their own electricity using the power of the sun. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which you can then use to power homes and businesses. Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that emits no pollutants or greenhouse gases. The solar energy industry employs over 200,000 people in the United States. Moreover, it is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Solar energy is a smart investment for both homeowners and businesses. It is an important part of the fight against climate change.
Evolution of solar energy industry in terms of Affordability
Solar energy has been on the rise in recent years as the cost of installation falls and the technology becomes more mainstream. Solar PV systems are now 45% cheaper to install than they were just 5 years ago. This has made them a more viable option for businesses and homeowners alike.
The solar energy industry is expected to grow exponentially in the next decade, with commercial installations trebling in size. Affordability is driving this growth, with solar becoming an increasingly attractive option for companies looking to offset their electricity costs. PowerFlex is proud to have played a part in this growth, helping leading organizations such as Amazon, Target, and Facebook install solar PV systems at their locations. With continued falls in the cost of installation, there’s no doubt that solar power will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come.
In the early days of solar power, systems were large and cumbersome, making them difficult and expensive to install. However, advances in technology have led to a new generation of solar panels that are smaller, lighter, and more efficient. These panels can be easily installed on rooftops and other structures, making them more accessible to the average consumer. In addition, newer solar panels are designed to work with existing electrical systems, meaning that there are fewer obstacles to adoption.
Solar panel manufacturers have responded by developing new technologies that improve the efficiency of solar panels and reduce their cost. Bifacial solar panels are one example of this. Bifacial solar panels are able to capture both direct and indirect sunlight, which increases their power output. Originally developed in the 1960s, bifacial technology has grown more efficient and can enhance PV system production by 10% under ideal conditions. Since 2016, the pricing difference between bifacial and monofacial panels has been reduced. This has made bifacial solar panels a more affordable option for consumers. Solar panel manufacturers are constantly working to develop new technologies that will make solar power even more efficient and cost-effective. As the solar industry continues to grow, we can expect to see more innovations in solar panel technology.
Evolution of solar energy industry in terms of Employment
In 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association found that the solar industry employed around 260,000 people. This represented a 25% increase from the year before. It showed that the solar industry was adding jobs at a rate twelve times faster than the rest of the economy. The vast majority of these jobs are in installation and project development, as the demand for solar panels continues to grow. However, there are also many opportunities for workers in manufacturing, sales, marketing, and other support roles. As the solar industry continues to expand, it will provide an ever-growing number of good-paying jobs for American workers.
The solar energy industry has grown rapidly in recent years, thanks in part to federal, state, and local incentives that have made solar power more affordable. For owners who qualify, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) pays for 26% of the total cost of the system, and state-based SREC initiatives have helped solar power producers make money.
One of the most important has been the expansion of net metering regulations. Net metering is a state and municipal utility regulation that refunds solar energy producers’ utility bills for any excess electricity exported to the grid after meeting their onsite power demands. This has played a critical role in the growth of the solar industry. This is because it provides a financial incentive for property owners to install solar panels. In addition, several states have adopted Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) programs. It require utilities to source a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources like solar. These programs have helped to drive investment in the solar industry and create jobs across the country. As we continue to see more policies supporting solar energy, it’s clear that the future of the solar energy industry is bright.