Solar Energy Industry Analysis: What Is It, and What Does it Mean for You?

The energy industry is undergoing a major transformation, as the traditional model of buying and selling energy—in this case, gas (motor fuel)—is being replaced by the rise of digital markets and the decentralized energy revolution.

Blockchain technology and crypto-assets are being used to create marketplaces where consumers can locate the energy suppliers who meet their needs, along with offering financial and transactional benefits. In turn, the energy suppliers can take advantage of digital marketplaces to reach new customers, while lowering operating costs and eliminating intermediaries.

To fully understand this evolution, it’s essential to examine the solar energy industry, which is one of the prime examples of how blockchain and crypto-assets are revolutionizing energy. Here we’ll take a look at what is happening in the solar energy industry, how it affects you, and what lies ahead.

Solar Energy And Crypto-Assets

Sustainability, climate change, and a desire for higher quality of life are prompting more and more people to consider alternative sources of energy. And what could be more sustainable and environmentally conscious than using solar power?

It turns out that solar energy is among the most highly sought-after and traded energy sources. With photovoltaic (PV) solar power, electric energy is created directly from the sun (specifically, sunlight). While not limited by the traditional energy sources such as oil and gas, it’s always preferable to use renewable sources of energy.

The surge in popularity is understandable: solar energy is practical, accessible, and affordable. The technology is easy to use and can be implemented by anyone. The International Energy Agency (IEA) foresees that by 2025, solar energy will become the world’s most preferred source of electric power. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s a zero-emissions energy source. And what’s more, the sun provides energy 24/7, so there’s never a shortage.

Among the many benefits of solar power are its environmentally-sound and renewable nature, low operating costs, and minimal maintenance requirements. These factors make solar energy a popular choice with businesses and families.

Why The Sun?

As we’ve established, solar energy is one of the most popular and most widely used energy sources due to its many benefits and the fact that it’s an environmentally-sound choice. But why the sun? What’s so special about the sun and solar energy that make it so efficient and popular?

Well, the sun is a reliable energy source because it provides energy whenever and wherever one needs it. The sun also gives off energy in the form of light, which can be converted to usable electric power via PV solar technology. The IEA forecasts that within the next few years, there will be more solar power installations than any other source of energy, with the exception of hydroelectricity.

The global market size for solar power was valued at US$16.9 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to rise to $26.8billion by 2023. This makes it the largest energy source market in terms of value and volume.

What Is SOLAR?

Before we look ahead, let’s take a quick detour and examine one of the most popular and well-known alternative energy sources: solar power. What is it, and what does it mean for you?

SOLAR is an abbreviation for a group of over one hundred individuals and organizations committed to promoting and implementing sustainable, eco-friendly, and fair trade practices within the solar industry. It was originally founded in 2010 and has over 30,000 members globally. As the name would suggest, it is a trade group that represents companies and organizations involved in the solar energy industry. Some of these members are manufacturers, equipment and supply providers, and project developers.

SOLAR offers a number of benefits for businesses and individuals interested in the industry. One of the mainstays of the group is to advocate for and implement sustainable, eco-friendly, and fair trade practices within the solar industry. It also publishes research and reports on the status and future of solar energy worldwide, including its application in mobile devices and data centers.

The Evolution Of Solar

While not limited by the traditional energy sources such as oil and gas, it’s always preferable to use renewable sources of energy. To that end, the sun has proven itself time and time again as a practically infinite and environmentally-sound energy source.

The evolution of solar is exemplified by the fact that the IEA has predicted, and SOLAR has certainly borne witness to, the massive growth and development of the industry over the past few years. Here’s a look at how solar power has evolved, and the significant impacts this transformation has had on the energy landscape.

PV Solar Goes Mainstream

PV solar power is one of the more popular options for consumers and businesses interested in solar energy. As we’ve established, the technology is easy to use and can be implemented by anyone. It’s also been a hugely popular option among individuals, families, and businesses who have sought to lower their carbon footprint and create a more sustainable lifestyle.

PV solar power is relatively straightforward: it simply involves putting up a few solar panels (either directly on the ground or attached to a roof) to create electricity. The panels are attached in such a way that they receive direct sunlight—typically, between 10 am and 4 pm, which is when the sun is at its peak—creating maximum efficiency and generating high-quality electricity.

PV solar power is most commonly used to power homes and charging stations for mobile devices. Its popularity grew largely as a result of its affordability: unlike many other forms of alternative energy, it doesn’t require extensive research or complicated installations to use.

Mini-And Micro-Hydro

Mini- and micro-hydro are two more popular and sustainable energy sources that can be used to generate electricity. They don’t require extensive research or development to use and can be implemented by anyone. But what makes them different from other forms of solar power is their method of generation. While photovoltaic power creates electricity via semiconductors (specifically, silicon), mini- and micro-hydro generate it via the controlled release of water via a turbine or pump. This type of renewable energy is most commonly used in developing countries where access to electricity is limited.

Even better, mini- and micro-hydro can be used to power homes and businesses, which is why many people consider them to be the perfect eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuel generation. Access to clean drinking water is also a significant factor in considering this as an option for many.

The Rise Of Distributed Energy

The world’s energy industry is undergoing a massive transformation, as the traditional model of buying and selling gas (motor fuel)—which is being replaced by the rise of digital markets and the decentralized energy revolution—has created an entirely new landscape.

Whether you take a look at the solar industry or the wind energy industry, most of these sources of clean energy are now available to consumers and businesses for direct purchase and installation (i.e., they aren’t purchased and shipped in from overseas).

Decentralized energy, in the form of community-owned renewable energy sources, is emerging as a significant force in the energy industry, due to the fact that it provides consumers and businesses with more control over their energy supply, reduces exposure to price fluctuations, and reduces dependence on distant and sometimes insecure energy suppliers.

Here’s a quick look at how the energy industry has transformed over the past few years, and how this transformation is affecting you and the environment:

The Price Of Gas

The price of gas is currently at an all-time low. This is largely due to increased production and decreased demand. While there are still significant differences in price from region to region, as a whole, it’s cheaper to purchase gas now than it’s ever been before. This is largely a matter of supply and demand, with fossil fuels commanding a larger share of the market due to increased production and decreased demand. On the supply side, increased exploration and development have led to a dramatic increase in the availability of fossil fuels. This, in turn, has lowered the price.

The decreased demand for gas is partly attributed to the increased efficiency of vehicles and appliances (i.e., electronics). While it’s tempting to think that gas guzzlers are being phased out and replaced by electric vehicles, this is hardly the case. Rather, increased efficiency and new innovations, such as compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and hybrid vehicles, are combining to increase demand for gas while lowering supply. This is resulting in lower prices and greater affordability.

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