2017 was an amazing year for the solar industry! Advancements in technology and reduction in prices have continued to make solar the obvious choice for residential and commercial energy needs. Below you will find a list of our personal predictions for the coming year.
Prediction #1: More growth in batteries (Kayley)
The vast majority of solar installations are still tied to a local grid. This is because many installs do not typically need a battery to be successful. In the past, batteries have been less appealing to customers because of their price point and that they have a limited life expectancy. As the production costs of batteries has been slowly declining, we have seen an increase in their accessibility. The desire for living “off the grid” has steadily become more mainstream and customers would like to be more independent with their power production. Additionally, the vast majority of power outages are caused by failure of a local grid – which is often due to extreme weather conditions or equipment failure. We foresee both residential and commercial consumers placing a higher value on the backup power capabilities of batteries.
Prediction #2: Standard watts coming out at 300 watts per module (Pat)
The power rating measured under laboratory conditions is referred to at STC, or Standard Test Conditions. STC is what a solar panel manufacturer uses in their technical specifications of equipment. Most standard panels are between 230 and 275 watts DC STC. We have seen a gradual increase in the wattage for standard solar panels gaining more efficiency at about 10 watts per module per year. We safely feel that we can predict an additional increase in 2018 that would bring us to about 300 watts per module. This increase in wattage will directly affect the cost of solar energy by requiring less panels to gather energy.
Prediction #3: Better quality control for American-made products (Sergio)
Since there is a probability that President Trump will approve the tariff on solar panels, we believe that a spotlight we be placed on the American solar panel industry if the tariff is approved. With this spotlight, we believe that more attention will be placed on their quality and consumers will demand a comparable panel to imported panels. Additionally, more money will be fueling the American solar panel industry. This will allow them to produce more efficient panels because of the boost in income.
Prediction #4: More cities and states will declare that they will be 100% renewable energy (Pat)
Renewable energies have increasing become more affordable through 2017 with the cost efficiency of solar and wind power surpassing the cost of coal. Many states and cities have been making their own pledges to renewables since the US is no longer apart of the Paris Climate Agreement. We foresee a major increase in dedication to renewables as communities see the value of solar both monetarily and for reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Do you have any questions or predictions for the upcoming year about going solar? Do not hesitate to call us at (800) 786-7080 or simply fill out our free solar quote form and we’ll get in contact as soon as possible.