March 3, 2021: Solar—is this the year?

It will come as no surprise that Texans are seeking independence from the grid by turning to residential solar.  Solar businesses are reporting triple-digit increases in the number of inquiries.

Solar has been our minds here as we anticipate the solar installation in Blount County.

Solar has been arriving for some time. Is 2021 the year when more and more Americans go solar?

According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Q4 2020 report, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, solar accounts for 43% of all new electric generating capacity additions through Q3 2020, more than any other electricity source

So, we thought we’d explore some of the challenges solar adoption faces.

  • Like many renewables to achieve reliability there needs to have a storage, because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.
  • There are a lot of fast movers and fast fallers in the industry leading to instability.
  • China is leading the world on solar but you knew that already.
  • Cost perceptions. According to the cost to install solar has dropped by 70% over the past decade. TVA keeps promoting that solar is costly. While hardware costs are dropping, so-called soft costs (labor, permitting/inspection, customer acquisition) have increased due in part to inconsistent building codes.
  • Utilities really have not figured out how to work with homeowners and small businesses, including when a solar customer has “excess power” to sell.

Still, the general trend is to increase solar capacity.

Are you considering going solar? Are you already there? What is your experience?