Grid Scale, Off-Grid, Solar

Solar Markets in 2003

RE Outlook 2003 – The trends and prophecies for 2003 about new products and technologies do not apply to us, as new products typically have an 18-month introduction process in this industry, between “announcement” and “field ready.” What is important to us and our clients is “what works now.”

RE Outlook 2003 – January 16, 2003 – Global Resource Options is a technology application business, otherwise known as a “solar dealer/installer/Renewable Energy provider.” The trends and prophecies for 2003 about new products and technologies do not apply to us, as new products typically have an 18-month introduction process in this industry, between “announcement” and “field ready.” What is important to us and our clients is “what works now.” In 2003, we believe our customers will be looking for more modular, less-expensive, faster-to-install photovoltaic systems. Our business split will move from 50 percent off-grid/50 percent on-grid to 75 percent on-grid. More of these on-grid systems will be “battery-less,” providing simple, clean power generation. Commercial customers are also adopting photovoltaics. While conventional wisdom is against consciousness of energy use effects, a growing subculture in the commercial and industrial sectors is demanding both energy efficiency and energy responsibility. The members of this sector are moving beyond traditional cost/benefit studies and are including a broader set of costs in their calculations. These costs include positives such as market leadership, employee moral, energy price stability and market perception, as well as negatives of environmental destruction from fossil energy sources and volatility of fossil supplies. Two almost completely undeveloped solar applications now have products and system designs that can make them cost-effective in many installations in the northeast. These are solar low-temperature process water heating and solar ventilation air heating. Both technologies now use simple equipment and are applicable to many industrial facilities. And both are cost-competitive to oil, propane and electric heating in many cases. All solar electric markets will be partially driven by increased opportunities for simple financing. New programs are available through dealers, including Global Resource Options, to provide complete financing for on-grid and off-grid systems for both commercial and residential projects. Now purchasing solar is no different than purchasing a new car, motor home, or boat. We believe 2003 will see a continued upturn in the retail business in both the commercial and residential sectors, across all three of these product areas. About the Author: Jeffery D. Wolfe is the principal at Global Resource Options, LLP in Strafford, Vermont. He can be reached at [email protected]