Solar Energy Revolution
Though many outside of the solar energy industry has never heard of him, Hayes Barnard, who was once an executive with Elon Musk’s SolarCity, is now focused on making the installation of solar energy more cost effective and available to the masses.
With solar energy prices getting lower and lower, those that drive the market are looking to the future to determine what it will take to go completely 100% renewable. What Barnard envisions from his decade of experience in the industry are three main initiatives that will help to make solar the number one renewable energy solution going forward.
- Solar energy companies will offer solar installations that are affordable and make sense to for the end user.
- Legislation will be put into place that requires all new homes to be built with solar included, California is already doing this.
- Solar energy companies will utilize smart technology that includes smart home tools like remote energy and battery monitoring, temperature adjustments, etc. We are already seeing this happening, but it will become more commonplace.
In the early days of solar a little over a decade ago, it was problematic trying to introduce the concept to homeowners that they could actually power their home with solar energy. Today, it has become far easier as the price continues to drop and the economic benefits are far more apparent.
Solar energy installations in the residential market have grown exponentially over the last ten years as the cost has gone down by over 50% from $6.65 per watt to $2.89 in 2018. Tesla recently reduced its prices below $2.00 per watt for many installations. Tesla, through its subsidiary, SolarCity, is leading new product development with solar roof tiles that are actually less expensive than conventional roofing tiles in many cases. Tesla’s new Powerwall battery stores solar energy for use 24 hours a day.
Governments must lead the charge in order to keep average temperature rise under two degrees Celsius compared to the levels they were at before the Industrial Age began. Climate Change scientists and activists are pressuring their respective legislators to be more aggressive in moving to a position of zero net-carbon. Well over 200 mayors and city managers in the United States have committed to being 100% renewable by 2030. The International Renewable Energy Agency stated recently that we must triple photovoltaic gigawatts from 109 to 300 by 2030.
Until recently, the biggest argument against solar energy has been the expense. While government entities, municipalities, and utilities have deep pockets for transitioning to solar, the average homeowner doesn’t. They may care deeply about the environment but it also has to make sense financially as well.
One company that has made huge strides in making financing solar installations easier is Loanpal. The company went from being a pre-launch start-up to being responsible for over 20% of all the loans for residential solar in the country in only a year. As of now, 8 of 10 solar companies are contracted with Loanpal.
As mentioned above, California has been the leader in solar energy mandates. Governor Newsom stated in December of 2018 that after 2020 every new home built in the state must have solar panels integrated in the design and build.
Smart technology will make solar even more cost effective and one of the smart home tools recommended by the International Renewable Energy Agency is the utilization of smart meters. Right now only 1 of 4 homes have smart meters but they want to see this double by 2030 and reach over 80% by 2050.
ClearWorld is a leader in Solar LED Lighting solutions with solar lighting installations in over 80 cities in the U.S. as well as in to countries. The company also has installations on military bases and in city, state, and national parks.