Solar Power Trends to Watch in 2020
As we roll into a new year and a new decade we can’t help but wonder what the future holds. The 2010s were a period of massive growth for the
solar industry; A combination of falling prices, improved technology and federal tax incentives made solar a hit all across the nation.
As we’ve looked back at the last few years we’ve also looked forward and have made a few predictions on trends to look out for in 2020.
Solar power has seen amazing growth in all sectors over the last 5-10 years including both commercial and residential spaces. In fact, solar has taken major strides as an easily accessible source of renewable energy.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, “Solar has ranked first or second in new electric capacity additions in each of the last 6 years. Solar’s increasing competitiveness against other technologies has allowed it to quickly increase its share of total U.S. electrical generation - from just 0.1% in 2010 to more than 2.5% today.”
One of the biggest roadblocks for solar right now is how to store energy for future use. We all know that if the sun isn’t shining that solar panels can’t produce energy. Utility companies and residential solar users alike want a solution to this issue. Up until now solar batteries haven’t made financial sense.
As demand for this solution increases though, you can expect battery prices to keep falling and technology to keep improving. There is no avoiding solar batteries if solar power is to ever overtake fossil fuel sources.
Fortunately, prices are already headed in the right direction and there’s no sign of stopping. The cost of lithium-ion battery storage fell 35 percent from the first half of 2018 to December 2019 and 76 percent since 2012. This downward price trend is good news for renewable solar energy in 2020.
Tax Credit Decreases
Tax credit decreases aren’t so much a trend as they are something to remember and keep an eye on over the next year. From 2016 to 2019 the federal solar tax credit was 30% of the cost of the system. This tax credit has been a huge boon to the industry and we’ll all be sad to see it go.
For now though, the tax credit is still around it’s just not as much as it once was. We know that 2019 was a great year to encourage customers to get a system installed while the full credit was still available but now it’s time to educate customers further. In 2020 the tax credit drops to 26% which is still very significant.
In 2021 the federal tax credit will drop to 22% and in 2022 it drops to 10% before disappearing for residential customers. Now that the federal tax credit only has a few years left it’s best not to shoot future you in the foot.
Start planning now on how you can build a solid foundation for future success that doesn’t rely wholly on the federal tax credit.
American Made Panels
In 2018 the industry experienced a 2% market decline due to module tariff impacts. While growth is forecasted to resume from 2019 through 2020, we predict that American made solar panels will start trending.
This trade war has taught us an important lesson on diversifying supply chain. Finding alternatives to chinese manufactured panels hasn’t been easy for many companies but the demand for these alternatives is on the rise, we should know!
This year we launched our American made mono module 300W - 320W and they have been a huge success! They’ve been such a hit we can barely keep them in stock. Seriously, as soon as we get a shipment, they’re out the door for delivery.
As we head into 2020 we only see this demand growing not only from installers but from consumers as well.
The solar industry has a big year ahead in 2020 and it’s likely to be even bigger than 2019. Keeping an eye on this trends will help you to stay ahead of the curve and stay competitive.
What trends do you see coming in 2020? Tell us in the comments!