If you are a solar panel contractor, get ready because the economic forecast for solar energy is that a bright future lies ahead…
It is the dawn of a new era for renewable energy. A decade ago, solar was a small player in the energy game and consumer skepticism regarding the viability of panels cast doubt over the industry. But those days of homeowner skepticism are gone, and panel contractors would be well advised in 2020 to expect their phones to be ringing off the hook with prospective clients.
As of April 2019, for the first time in history, renewable energy sources outpaced coal by providing 23 percent of US power generation, compared to coal’s 20 percent. That translates into enough solar energy capacity to power 13.5 million homes, an amount that is expected to double over the next five years.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that increased consumer demand and new innovations are heating up the solar market so much that record growth in both the commercial and residential sectors is anticipated in 2020!
What makes the solar energy boom so impressive is that it is occurring against a backdrop of trade and tariff policy uncertainty, including the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar panel imports.
The fundamental drivers propelling the already busy solar energy market are also making the transition to clean energy an opportunity too great for consumers to ignore. Those drivers include:
The cost to install solar has dropped by almost 70% over the last 10 years. The average price of a standard-size residential system has decreased from $40,000 in 2010 to less than $18,000, resulting in thousands of new systems being constructed around the country.
A green revolution is resulting in increased demand for clean renewable energy. Consumers that want to reduce their carbon footprint and ween themselves off of fossil fuels are turning to solar.
Solar energy is dependent on weather conditions that result in fluctuations in generated power. But Living Large In a Small House author Sheri Koones notes that innovations in solar storage are helping to propel the industry to new heights. She says that the manufacturing costs of Lithium-ion batteries have decreased 90% over the last decade, enticing consumers with the promise of not only generating clean, affordable energy, but storing it as well.
A significant 26 percent federal tax rebate for installing solar panels in 2020 is making the switch to solar an especially tempting proposition. The consumer rebate decreases to 22 percent in 2021 before dropping down to zero in 2022. As a consequence of these incentives, demand for the technology is bullish, and installers should expect 2020 to be their best year on record.
The consulting firm Deloitte notes that new renewable energy sources like solar turned the corner in the first half of 2019, when wind and solar combined accounted for 50 percent of the total US renewable power generation, displacing hydroelectric power as the top renewable generator.
The consulting firm anticipates that expanding capacity factors, along with advancements in technology, increased collaboration, and insatiable consumer demand will drive the solar market to even higher ground, ensuring that 2020 will be solar contractors’ brightest year ever.
Silvio Marcacci, communications director at Energy Innovation, predicted in a January article he penned in Forbes that “Increasingly ambitious state policies combined with fast-falling technology prices could mean record renewable energy installations.” Marcacci insists that unwavering efforts to decarbonize U.S. power supplies could shatter fossil fuel infrastructure faster than previously imagined.
The EIA estimates that the total installed U.S. PV capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years. As a consequence, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the solar PV installer job is projected to be one of the fastest growing employment opportunities for the next eight years.
So if you’re a solar contractor, be prepared, because your services are going to be highly coveted and sought after.
With record-breaking growth on the horizon, installation companies face a highly competitive market. That’s why it is so important for solar panel contractors to adopt new technologies to solidify their stake in the solar panel market. Consequently, small and medium-sized companies are turning to intuitive software like Solargraf to improve the quoting and project management process and increase their company’s value in this bullish market.
Solargraf is a solar management system that helps over 7,000 solar installers boost sales and save precious time by leveraging technology to make it quick and simple to build, share, edit and sign accurate, professional, customizable quotes.
With its user-friendly functions, Solargraf performs seamlessly on any mobile device. It allows contractors to create a complete proposal - including a design using HD satellite imagery - in a few minutes, as well as shade analysis. Solargraf helps to streamline communication between all team members. Within one account, contractors can add an unlimited number of users to establish effective communication in managing project stages to completion.
This unique software empowers users of all skill levels to draw and map solar designs within minutes when provided a customer’s address. It integrates the best HD imagery through partnerships with Nearmap and Eagleview to generate the layout of the proposed panels based on measurements of a homeowner’s roof.
There is an ancient Chinese expression: make hay while the sun is high. If you’re a solar contractor, there has never been a more opportune moment to make hay as this year. Despite the Trump administration’s tariff uncertainty, the Solar market is heating up. Driven by a Federal tax incentive, declining prices, and new technologies, the experts conclude 2020 is poised to be a record year for solar.
So don’t miss out on a golden opportunity to benefit from this wide open market. All you need to do is upgrade your technology with Solargraf and the sky’s the limit.
Article by: MJ Stone for Solargraf.