The solar power industry has been fraught with difficulties over the last year or so. The U.S. and China have gotten themselves into a trade war over their respective solar panel manufacturing industries. U.S. manufacturers got fed up with subsidized prices for Chinese solar panels. They convinced the Commerce Department to slap tariffs on them. Governments around the world are ending their subsidies for solar power, which is wreaking havoc on domestic manufacturing industries. As global installed capacity continues to grow, prices keep falling and the economics change almost monthly.
Customers are in a great position to take advantage of solar power. With governments around the world ending or reducing their support of solar power, the industry is poised to enter a make-or-break moment. Germany, the powerhouse of the global solar market, has announced plans to cut its support by 15 percent in 2013. This will likely spur new installations as developers take advantage of expiring feed-in tariff plans.
Cutting subsidies might also lead to the end of solar power as we currently know it. In 2009, when Spain slashed its subsidies dramatically, the Spanish photovoltaic market collapsed from over 15 billion euros to around three billion euros. (2) U.S. customers are only looking for the cheapest and most reliable source of power available. Solar power only works when the sun is shining. Reliability is an issue when it comes to solar power generation. However, the ability to lower electricity bills by even small amounts may be tempting in a world of high energy prices.
The subsidy situation notwithstanding, innovation is bringing new ideas to the forefront. V3 Solar, a California solar power company, has announced plans for a radical new design: solar cones. These cones spin to harness the maximum energy efficiency from the sun. The company claims improved efficiency and lower costs, although no data has been released yet. (3)
Industry changes will ripple downstream to retailers, installation companies and customers. The ultimate beneficiaries will be residential, commercial and industrial purchasers of solar power capacity. Residential customers in particular can take advantage of rebates and tax incentives to help weather the burden of Verengo solar panels for homes. A quality installation company like Verengo Solar is best for customers that want to enter the solar market.
The shifts in solar power will not alter the benefits that it confers to customers and the environments. In fact, if innovation continues to grow, costs will come down and the benefits will increase even more. With no greenhouse gas or pollutant emissions, the environmental aspects have always been the major selling point for solar energy. What’s more, customers in the sunniest states such as California are in a unique position to lower their energy costs through solar power.
Under the mandatory state-wide net metering program, customers can sell excess electricity back to the grid. They can earn a profit from going green and potentially pay nothing at all for electricity each month. In addition to the incentives mentioned above, this program is one of the best reasons for using a company like Verengo Solar to install solar panels. In the future, solar power collectors may look nothing like the flat panels of today. They will be able to extract electricity from sunlight much more efficiently.