Every year I gaze into my solar crystal ball and make 10 educated guesses about the rooftop solar industry. Last year I was pretty lucky, getting 9 out of 10 right. 2017 is shaping up to be a lot more uncertain with big political changes, low equipment prices, new energy storage products and higher electric rates. Unfortunately, my list doesn’t include the benefits of the Clean Power Plan and 500 million solar panels (along with the EPA and half the equity in the remaining solar module companies). Nevertheless, I remain very optimistic about the future of clean technology industries simply because their economic benefits have been proven.
So here are my Ten Predictions for Rooftop Solar in 2017:
- Module prices will stay at current low levels.
- U.S. solar manufacturing will continue to decline.
- Community solar will struggle to get traction.
- State solar organizations will gain membership and influence throughout the U.S. as Net Energy Metering and rate design issues are tackled by state public utility commissions. Meanwhile, SEIA will fight a rear guard action in DC to preserve the most precious TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms): ITC, DOE and EPA.
- The TLA for 2017 is BTM (Behind The Meter).
- Bigger is badder in rooftop solar. Small local and medium regional rooftop solar companies will continue to thrive as large integrated companies struggle.
- Utility deployments of battery storage system will grow rapidly in the U.S.
- Customers will not install technology that provides services to utilities.
- Storage equipment companies will continue to underestimate the true cost of their new products in order to generate buzz and initial sales.
- President Trump will embrace solar because it is cheaper and continues to be a jobs engine.
For the details of my Ten Predictions for Rooftop Solar in 2017, please Listen Up to the Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.
About the Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
This podcast was originally produced by Cinnamon Solar and was presented here with permission.