According to a Recent Report Published by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) in the US.
Great news, right? Right. Many of us have been waiting to hear such good news for a long time. But, so what? What does this mean for your property, business or job prospects? How you can you use this information to your advantage?
Here are a few important takeaways from the report.
1. If you’re a consumer, you can have 100% confidence that the technology works and it sounds. If you’re in a state that have strong solar incentives it’ll likely be a found investment and you can either own or lease the system. Always, make sure to find references for solar contractors. Some good site includes, Find Solar and Get Solar.
2. If you’re a federal, state or local politician and you’re in an area that does NOT have good solar incentives but you’d like to create some local jobs you don’t need to invent anything, just copy programs that already exist from other states. There are many states that have large and quickly growing solar industries and they’ve figured out net metering, incentives and permitting. If you need guidance just look to a state that already has a solid solar industry as an example. Also, if you create the solar industry in your state similar to another state it will be more likely to have companies quickly expand into your state because they’re familiar with legal structure.
3. Prices are plunging, and investors don’t like it. A great article on Alternative Energy Stocks “Wall Street’s Irrational, Dangerous Hated of Solar Stocks” describes how although solar has been the highlight of the world economy in the past few years in terms of growth. Why? It’s very competitive industry (good for installers and customers) and there is still a huge amount of supply, much more then demand. The fact that investors are weary of solar manufacturers because of competition is a good thing for you, the installer and the customer.
4. More Political Support. The report highlights that the number of green jobs is increasing drastically, which is increasing the amount of political support solar is receiving. A virtuous cycle for sure. For example, in Pennsylvania there is are the same number of coal miners and solar installers -7,000 to be exact. However, solar installers are increasing while coal miners continue to die off. The benefit of solar, like wind, is that it is very public. and (Politicians love to visit installations). If you’re an installer, invite your local representative to an installation and get much needed PR for all of us.
5. Even growth across segments. Just from skimming the executive summary of the report you can see that there is steadily and equal growth among utility scale, commercial and residential solar projects. Good news for entrepreneurs and contractors who are you looking to enter the industry in residential or light commercial or existing business looking to scale, there is demand in each segment.
6. Regional Activity. A negative, or positive depending upon where you live. Except for Colorado, the majority of solar activity and installations is happening on the west and east coast not the middle of the country. If you’re a installer or consumer, your opportunity in solar will depend on if you’re in a good region or not. If you’re a politician in one of these state, this could be good news for you!
7. HUGE opportunity still exists for businesses, property owners, and politicians. The one item that struck me about the report, is that industry is growing so quickly because it was SO SMALL before. Also, if you look at the share of the global market, the US is still far under 20%.
All Images Courtesy Solar Energy
Industry Association 2010 US Solar
Market Insight Report
GET Aug2011 page 25