Solar Energy Trends You Should Know About
The solar energy market is exploding, with enough solar energy generated to power close to 16 million homes (and counting). It’s a rapidly growing and changing market, with things like tax incentives, government policies, and fluctuating costs that might seem confusing. For homeowners, business owners, or others thinking about whether solar can provide you with enough benefits to be worth the cost, here are some important trends to be aware of in 2020 and beyond.
The Price to Store Solar Energy is Falling
There are three different types of systems:
- Grid-tied solar systems
- Off-grid battery backup solar systems
- Hybrid grid-tied and battery backup systems
Grid-tied systems have no battery storage, they simply send any excess energy generated during sunlight hours from your system straight to the local power company, which offers a “credit” toward any energy you use when there’s no sunlight and your panels aren’t producing energy for you to use. They’re usually less expensive up front because they don’t have a battery backup, but that also means this type of system doesn’t have any reserve power in case of a local power outage.
The other two systems both have battery backups installed along with the system, and the price to get a battery backup installed with a hybrid or a full battery (off-grid) system is going down. Companies like Tesla offer some amazing new innovations with their latest battery backups, and lithium-ion batteries—the type used for solar systems—are also getting less expensive overall, dropping in price by 35 percent from 2018 to today.
Tax Credits Continue to Go Down
For several years federal and state governments have offered significant incentives to install a solar power system, but they are phasing those out starting in 2020. What was previously a 30% credit is down to 26% this year, and will continue to go down over the next two years until there is no residential credit (there will still be a 10% credit available for commercial and utility projects after 2022. The sooner you act to get a solar system installed, the more tax incentives you can get.
New Consumer Habits Drive Demand
While the total electricity demand in most countries has leveled off, the volume of electric vehicle sales has once again driven up electricity demand. Right now electric vehicle sales are projected to increase 10-fold from 11 million in 2020 to almost 100 million in 2025, and those vehicles require electricity to run. Residential solar system can help charge cars overnight at home, but this also presents plenty of opportunity for commercial solar arrays to power vehicles while people are at work or out shopping and dining.
If you’re ready to get on board with the trend toward more solar energy for your residential, commercial, or industrial space, contact Intermountain Wind and Solar today.