The global energy industry is undergoing a transition from fuels that are prone to international conflicts to renewable energy sources. The renewable energy industry is growing at a breakneck pace, and solar power in particular is attracting significant investment for its remarkable potential. Touted as the “renaissance of the solar industry,” the solar energy market grew at an 83% annual rate from 2016 to 2018.
As promising as the future of solar power seems, the technology still has significant hurdles to overcome. Cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable sources of energy are still important concerns, and the industry needs to continue evolving to meet these challenges.
One of the major hurdles that the solar power industry faces is the fact that panels are getting cheaper and cheaper. Photovoltaic solar power system prices dropped by about 28% from 2017 to 2018. This makes solar power more accessible to a wider audience. Since the initial investment for solar power is typically high, only large and medium-sized businesses can afford to take advantage of this low price point. The good news is that as technology improves and panels become more affordable, the payback period on an investment in solar power lengthened from 7.2 years to 8.9 years.
The global energy industry is undergoing a transition from fuels that are prone to international conflicts to renewable energy sources. One of the major sticking points in the international arena is climate change. As fossil fuels become more scarce, there is a growing need to find alternative energy sources that can reduce carbon emissions. To achieve this, the solar industry is striving to adopt more sustainable practices that feature less toxicity and fewer byproducts. This is a must for the industry to remain viable in the long term.
Another major concern for the solar industry is the unreliability of solar energy. For decades, power was plentiful and solar energy provided a viable solution to avoid outages. However, with power generation becoming more decentralized, there is a growing need for stable and continuous power supply. In this case, having a sustainable and reliable power source such as hydropower can be a good solution. In areas where there is no stable power supply, there is a need for large-scale energy storage to provide power during the day. This way, the technology can begin to be adopted on a large scale.
The last challenge that the solar power industry faces is the stability of the energy source. Just as with any other power generation method, solar energy is not perfect. In some regions, it can be prone to sudden and prolonged outages as it is affected by the weather and sunlight. This can be particularly troublesome for industries that rely on a constant and reliable power supply.
One way to overcome this issue is to adopt smart and efficient energy management strategies. By anticipating and mitigating the impact of unplanned fluctuations in energy generation, the reliability of solar energy to power your business can be greatly improved.
All of these challenges are worth considering, but none of them are deal breakers. Indeed, the solar power industry is still in its very early stages, and it is undergoing a process of refinement. The good news is that all of this emerging technology is still hugely promising. When combined with new and innovative business models, the future of solar power looks incredibly bright.