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The new year is well underway with the days growing longer and promise of more sunshine ahead. So what does 2020 hold for the solar industry and for those who want to tap into clean, affordable, sustainable solar power? We took a look into our crystal ball and to industry resources like Solar Power World – and here are key trends to watch:
The cost of converting to solar continues to go down, which is great news for cities, schools, businesses, and agricultural enterprises looking at switching to a sustainable, lower cost energy source. According to solar industry research data, solar system prices are at their lowest levels in history across all market segments, dropping from $40,000 in 2010 to roughly $18,000 today. The lower pricing structure is not expected to go away either as companies embrace the market’s growing demand for solar as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Solential is seeing interest rising as solar prices decline. In meeting with prospective commercial, municipal, and school district customers, people are pleasantly surprised at how affordable solar can be, especially when combined with tax incentives, grants and other financing options. Add that to the savings on monthly power bills and solar becomes very attractive!
More Commercial Projects
We recently featured blogs on big box retailers like Target and companies like Art to Remember adopting solar, using rooftops for solar fields to power their operations. Energy savings were just part of the decision to make the solar switch. Solar systems are also easy and affordable to maintain. A system typically lasts upwards of 40 years with regular maintenance!
Large and small businesses like Target and Art to Remember also see significant benefits such as being good corporate citizens, the appeal to customers who are increasingly demanding accountability from businesses, and solar’s power as a talent recruiting and retention tool. So while solar is a bottom line investment, it has a profound top line impact as well.
As we meet with our commercial customers, we work to provide a solar solution, from design to build to maintenance – that makes a positive impact on all fronts.
Software Tools Becoming Essential
We use apps to make nearly every aspect of our lives easier so why not apps for the solar industry? Experts say apps will become essential in 2020 for any solar company looking to scale and stand out in this quickly growing industry. Solential has a proprietary app called Solview, an asset management platform that allows you to monitor your system’s performance in real time. Available to our customers as a software as a service (SaaS) tool, SolView is a customizable multi-level user interface via browser or app that ensures the optimal uptime performance of your system by monitoring real time and historical data in reports, graphs, alarms, and fault isolation tools. It provides insights into your solar system’s performance not available through other companies. We warn you though, Solview and the ability to track performance 24/7 can be very addicting!
Energy Storage Systems
Worries about the stability of the grid and consistent power generation are causing increased interest in adding battery systems to solar projects. While not mandatory, incorporating battery storage into your solar solution is a smart and practical move. It allows you to store excess energy during the day and use it at night or during periods of high energy or demand use. This allows companies, municipalities, schools, and farms to reduce purchased energy from the grid while also reducing peak demand charges. Although there is an upfront cost to battery storage to consider, the end result is more annual energy savings. Solential is happy to run the numbers as part of your solar solution planning process.
Federal Solar Tax Credit Starts Decreasing
For years, the solar industry and our customers have enjoyed a number of federal and state tax credits that have “sweetened the deal” of going solar. However, changes are ahead in 2020. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a valuable incentive from the federal government that reduces the total cost of going solar, was not extended by Congress. The amount of the tax credit starts to decline this year,moving from 30 percent to 26 percent of the total solar system cost, including installation. This means that the incentive in 2020 is more attractive than it will be in coming years, unless Congress reverses course. If you are considering solar, we encourage you to talk with us about the federal tax credit and other financing options to ensure your solar solution is as financially attractive as possible.
Solential is a solutions-driven solar energy company; no two solutions are the same. We welcome the opportunity to listen to your ideas, what you’d like to achieve with solar, what your time frame is, and answer any questions. You will be surprised at how easy the process of adopting clean, sustainable solar can be! Connect with us here and let’s start a conversation.