The benefits of using solar power are huge, from simply cutting power costs to the long term gains of investing in clean, sustainable energy. In the past, the growth of this new energy solution has been limited for practical reasons, including high initial cost, low efficiency when compared to conventional energy sources, and lack of consumer familiarity.
However, technology continues to improve and these barriers to entry are becoming smaller and smaller. Below are three ways that we can already see technology opening the doors for solar energy.
In many cases, advances in technology means doing more with less. Solar companies are frequently coming out with new versions of their product that are able to more efficiently produce energy. In other cases, companies are finding better production methods that reduce waste and enable more units to be produced, cutting costs on expensive materials like polycrystalline silicon.
As solar panels become more efficient, they become more competitive with traditional energy sources like coal.This means that solar panels are not just good for the environment, but they’re also increasingly viable financially for big companies like Walmart, Costco, Apple and Ikea.
One of the biggest issues with solar panels is that they are dependent on the sun. This lack of reliability at night and according to weather has in the past, been a barrier to the technology being more widely adopted. Energy storage helps overcome this inconsistency by storing energy for later use.
There are a variety of different concepts in progress to improve solar storage, including liquid cooling, hydrogen, and demand response. The ability to store more energy for longer amounts of time lessens the need for supplementary forms of energy. As these technologies develop, they will help solar usage grow and make it a more dependable energy solution.
Solar energy is still considered somewhat of an “alternative” power source. Homeowners who are interested in solar energy may not find much support from their neighbors. In extreme cases, some have even received fines from Home Owners Associations for installing aesthetically-clunky solar panels.
Thankfully, there are new technologies that make solar energy an easier and less obtrusive addition to the home. For example, completely transparent solar cells can now transform ordinary looking windows into a source of energy, while other companies develop solar panels that look like regular roof tile. Over time, solar energy options will continue to grow and become an increasingly viable solution for widespread use.
Thanks to the above advances in technology, solar is constantly becoming a more affordable and versatile energy solution for both residential and business needs. As our capability continues to grow, we will find new ways to make solar power more accessible and attainable for everyone.
In the meantime, a solar panel installation may already be more attainable than you think. Discussing the short and long term costs of solar with a qualified solar team is the best way to assess the right solution for you.
If you’d like to find out how installing solar panels on your roof can help you drive your electric bill down to zero, contact us today for a free quote.