The Global Solar Industry is set to hit the big time as solar panel prices continue to decline and the solar trade shows are bursting at the seams with interest. As a result, thousands of new jobs may be on their way as businesses expand to take advantage of this new found interest. One such company is Solar Energy International, the world’s leading solar marketplace. We take a look at why you should consider investing in this rapidly expanding industry.
An Evolving Industry
As interest in solar power grows, so does the industry itself. The International Solar Energy Society (ISES) reports that over the last three years, the solar industry has expanded by an incredible 24%, creating new job opportunities, boosting innovation and driving down the cost of solar power. These developments indicate the industry is set to continue its upward swing. Buying a system now could pay back many times over in energy savings and coin.
Fuelling The Future
The International Solar Energy Society is also responsible for the renewable energy and sustainability awards, the largest of its kind. The society has recognized Elon Musk’s Tesla as the world’s most sustainable electricity provider and SunPower as the leader in the field of renewable energy.
The solar industry is responsible for driving down the cost of solar power, which in turn has led to a surge in interest. The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) expects that the next few years will see a 30% drop in the cost of solar power (as a result of increasing efficiency and new manufacturing techniques).
As a result, more and more businesses, homes and even governments are putting solar panels on their rooftops to try and harness this free, clean energy supply. The NREL report also forecasts that by 2022, solar power will contribute 7.9% to the global electric energy mix.
Record Breaking Growth
To understand the scale of the recent solar power boom, you have to look no further than the 2019 edition of the International Solar Energy Society’s (ISES) Global Solar Tradefair in London. The event, which is the world’s largest and most important solar trade show, attracted a staggering 45,000 attendees from across the world. It was held in March and reported a 25% rise in attendees compared to the previous year, with the majority of consumers now turning their backs on the ravages of climate change in favor of more renewable energy.
The UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) reports that there are now over 150,000 registered businesses and organizations in the UK supporting the solar industry, providing goods and services from contract manufacturing to legal and financial advice. That’s an entire mini-economy in itself.
The global solar industry is responsible for a 24% rise in jobs and a 45% rise in economic value between 2016 and 2018, according to a new report from the Global Solar Business Summit.
Record Breaking Prices
Prices have fallen so much for solar that even those with a smaller household could still make a profit. For example, a 4KW system sold for just $3,600 in 2016, providing electricity for a family of four, was offered for sale for just $5,400 last year. That’s a 66% fall in price overall and a massive blow to those looking to enter the market on a budget. In fact, the entire solar market, including installation, has seen price reductions of up to 80% in the last five years.
More Than Just Electricity
The price reductions and industry growth have been so great that the Solar Power Systems & Infrastructure (SPSI) report notes that many homeowners are choosing to install solar panels for more than just their electricity needs. The report cites research which suggests that between 3-5% of households consider solar panels to be a primary backup power source.
The demand for backup power is on the rise as many homeowners and businesses are looking to minimize the effects of climate change on their homes and businesses. The report also notes that 10% of respondents cited security as the primary reason for investing in backup power generation.
Backup power is also desirable for those who install solar energy systems because at least some electricity generation is often unavailable when the sun isn’t shining or when it rains. Homes and businesses that rely on grid power for their daily operations can be at risk of having their grid connection cut off during heavy rain or strong winds, preventing them from providing for their daily basis. Backup power avoids this by providing emergency electricity if the grid goes down.
The surge in interest in solar power also shows no signs of slowing down as businesses and homes continue to feel the pinch of climate change and seek out alternative, sustainable energy sources. A Gartner survey found that while 68% of organizations were concerned about energy prices, 70% were also concerned about climate change.
If you’re looking for key takeaways from the report, they’re as follows: