Renewable energy, especially solar power, is a cost-effective and widely available energy source. However, there is a need for better energy policies to make this industry more stable. Here are ten 2019 predictions regarding rooftop solar and storage.
1. Consistent Soft Expenses will Prevent Decline in Residential Solar Prices
Prices of residential solar will get to their lowest at an average of $2.50 per watt until inspection, incentive, selling, permitting, and interconnection expenses are minimized. Even if solar panels were cost-free, average prices would remain more than $2.00 per watt until the soft expenses started to drop.
2. Maintenance and Upgrades Will Become a Significant Opportunity
Maintenance of current systems, including replacing inverters, replacing broken panels, cleaning panels, and updating archaic monitoring systems will be an increasing segment of the business of the contractor. While panels can last for more than 25 years, inverters, as well as their systems of communication, only last for about 10-15 years.
3. Increase in Uptake of VPPs as Results of the Pilot Roll in
As pilot programs reveal the value of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) in minimizing peak utility energy expenses, they will get traction in the market. VPPs are typically distributed networks of controllable loads, solar, and batteries that can be released to offer more power to the grid or disengage temporarily to minimize loads.
4. Batteries will Take Time to Gain a 50 percent Penetration
Reliable and cost-effective battery storage systems are still at the stage of bleeding-edge. Hence, they will take a few years before attaching to 50 percent of the systems.
5. PUCs will Force the Hand of Utilities Regarding Grid Reliability
Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) are going to force utilities to enjoy the benefit of distributed storage and solar to aid in improving the reliability of the grid. This is in addition to the infrastructure of the grid.
6. A decline in US Solar Manufacturing
Tariffs have been applied to solar modules and cells to aid the US manufacturers. However, since all components of a solar module need to be imported, these components’ tariffs greatly disadvantage the manufacturers.
7. Financing will Gain in Significance
There is a high expectation that the next recession is nearing. When it happens, financing is going to be even more vital to the solar sector.
8. Persistent Supply Chain Issues with Systems of Battery Storage
There are not many battery and inverter companies that offer seamlessly interchangeable products, like the way inverters and solar modules are.
9. Good Communication and Software
In the future, good communication and software will be the admission price for future battery and solar systems. Reliable and functional customer, administrator, and server firmware are needed for effective customer service and grid integration.
Inflation is going to impact the residential solar installations significantly. While the modules are expected to cost low, cost of all the other components and services will rise. Tariffs are increasing the cost of inverters, mounting systems, and electronics. Also, general factors of inflation are increasing the cost of labor.
Keep an eye on these predictions to help you invest wisely in solar energy. Whether you are a customer, retailer, or a manufacturer, these tips will benefit you.