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5 Reckless Predictions about the Future of Solar

Updated: Jan 12

1. Solar will be the core component in powering electrified transportation.

Tesla, Rivian, Ford’s Mach-E. We know them, we love them, we want them.

These innovative companies and their associated growth prove that electric vehicles are truly the way of the future. According to BloombergNEF, “falling battery prices mean that larger electric cars will reach price parity with their fossil-fuel counterparts in the U.S. and Europe in 2022.”

As more cars on the road go electric, we need to power them through electricity rather than through fossil fuels. Solar being the cheapest form of energy is the clear solution and partner for the future of electric vehicles and electric transportation.

2. Solar will be widely used for disaster relief.

People have many misconceptions about solar. Cost and efficiency to name just two.

Another misconception is that solar is a nice-to-have. What may surprise people is that solar and access to energy in many instances is life or death. There have been many instances when solar has been used for disaster relief.

“In 2015, when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake leveled much of Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, the nonprofit SunFarmer, which provides solar power and batteries to remote hospitals and schools in developing countries, deployed their technology to fix street lights in the city. They also brought solar water purifiers and small solar-powered systems to villages in the hills, which were hit hardest by the earthquake. And back in 1988, when Hurricane Hugo hit Guadeloupe, Saint Croix, Puerto Rico, and the Southeast United States, solar power was deployed for the first time ever in disaster relief.”

With the increasing number of catastrophic natural disasters ranging from fires to hurricanes, solar will be needed more than ever. When disasters strike, solar will be the shining ray of sunlight. When solar is paired with battery storage, emergency shelters can stay running, life-savings machines can be turned on, and families can stay together.

What the new levees have been for New Orleans during Hurricane Ida, solar can be natural disasters globally—an undeniable relief when situations are truly dire.

3. The current macro-grid energy model will transition to a solar micro-grid system.

A macro-grid system is essentially a highway system for electricity. It is the way we answer the energy demand problem in the US. by transferring energy from places with excess energy to places with scarcity. The problem with this approach is that a lot of energy is lost in transit.

A micro-grid solar system is a solar system that runs independently of a larger main grid or utility program and provides power locally. This community-based approach to electricity is the future of solar for several reasons, but here are just a few of the main reasons micro-grid solar will be an important developing solar technology as these grids increase in popularity:

  • Micro-grid systems can provide electricity to more rural areas that otherwise could not access power

  • Micro-grid system communities can enjoy power during brownouts that happen with the main grid

  • These systems can be more reliable and cost-effective than their main grid or macro-grid counterparts

Read this Vox article to learn more about micro-grid solar systems.

4. Adoption of solar will increase 10 fold over the next 3 years in 26 key states.

The EIA recently reported that solar is the cheapest form of electricity in history.

Now if saving lives and the planet isn’t a sufficient enough motivator to fuel the energy transition, maybe savings will. Solar is cheaper than gas, geothermal, coal, or nuclear power. Additionally, the business opportunity is expansive to employ professionals and craftspeople from many different industries.

“In 2010, solar energy represented only 0.06% of the global energy mix, which increased to 1.11% in 2019. The proportion of solar energy in the renewable energy mix has also increased substantially, from 0.8% in 2010 to 10.3% in 2019.”

Solar energy is following a pattern of exponential growth in adoption. Given current local and federal government initiatives along with growing concern around climate change, solar energy is being adopted at a faster rate than ever before in the United States.

5. Solar will be the number one way we combat global climate change.

Recent IPCC reports from the UN have shined a light on the dark reality of climate change. In the report published in 2021, the research demonstrated a fivefold rise in climate-related disasters.

This report was a clarion call to take immediate action. Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General stated, “As today’s IPCC report makes clear there is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”

Climate change is the world’s most serious and pressing problem and if we continue on our current trajectory, the effects could be irreversible and potentially catastrophic for people everywhere, but especially for people in poorer nations.

The electric power sector is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the US, representing 28% of all emissions, therefore solar’s role in mitigating climate change and reducing CO2 emissions is obvious. It is a clean energy source that reduces our dependency on fossil fuels.

SEIA noted that in order to achieve 100% of clean energy by 2030, we will need to increase solar installations by 80% more than the current forecast in the next 10 years.

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