The demand for solar energy systems is projected to continue growing this year, as more homeowners and businesses take advantage of tax incentives and enjoy cost savings on their utility bills. In California, solar panels became mandatory starting January 1, 2020, on new homes up to three stories high. Most recently, the California Energy Commission voted to mandate solar panels and battery storage in new commercial buildings and certain multifamily homes starting January 1, 2023. Other states may soon follow suit.
With regard to technology, solar batteries are expected to increase in efficiency and capacity. Solar batteries store excess electricity generated by solar panels, which can be used at times when solar panels don’t produce enough power. Solar batteries also let you keep the lights on (along with essential appliances) during a power outage, a huge plus for people who live in storm-prone areas that can wipe out power for days on end.
Solar battery chargers are also becoming popular for those with electric vehicles.
Improvements in solar panel technologies are ongoing, and consumers will benefit as researchers strive for greater efficiencies and explore the efficacy of different materials such as perovskite. Location of solar panels is also evolving, with ground-mounted systems becoming a popular alternative to rooftop installations. Floating solar farms, or ‘floatovoltaics’ , are water-based solar panels that present novel opportunities for a variety of industries, such as agriculture, that need to conserve land. Floating solar farms can be placed on lakes, reservoirs, and even the ocean.
Demand is also expected to increase in 2022 for a broad range of solar products such as solar-powered generators, refrigerators, air conditioning units, ovens, irrigation pumps, water heaters, lanterns, fans, streetlights and more. The push for clean, renewable energy is a win-win: it’s a step in the right direction for the environment, and it can result in significant cost savings for you.
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