Good To Know

3 Biggest Challenges In The Solar Industry


We’ve been making the earth sick for the past 200 years by burning coal, oil, and gas. That has created holes in the ozone layer, and now we’re all feeling the effects. Every summer, we see record high temperatures, and we can’t stay in the office without an air conditioning unit on. 

A lot of wild species are dying out because they can’t handle the increased temperature, and there’s no one to point the finger at except ourselves. However, there’s one thing that can change this situation completely, and that’s renewable energy. Visit this link for more info. 

This includes solar, wind, and hydro, but for now, solar is in the lead. Using panels allows the environment to relax for a little bit, but there’s still not enough support from politicians, and a lot of people are reluctant to get them, even though there are beneficial programs in place. During the past decade, the technological improvement of solar panels has been outstanding. 

In 2010, the residential capacity that was added was less than 700 megawatts. A decade later, that number has crossed 20 000 megawatts. Additionally, there have been loads of new jobs generated in this sector. There are now more than 250 000 employees in the sector, compared to less than 90 000 a decade ago. 

Now, even though there has been such rapid expansion, there are still challenges in the industry. The sector is still too new to be competing against fossil fuels, and the obstacles need to be crossed. We’re going to talk about the three biggest challenges that solar is facing at the moment.  

 

The United States grid infrastructure 

During the last century, the state of the United States electricity grid has not changed at all. Now, everyone is aware of climate change, and we’re all trying to become more environmentally conscious, which means that the grid will need to be upgraded to accommodate the flow of solar power. 

The President has tried to make a move towards a more sustainable model, but that might prove impossible to achieve. At the moment, there are more than three thousand companies that work as electricity providers. 

This means a complete overhaul of the network, which has close to a hundred thousand generators. The companies that are dealing with electricity are mostly public, which means that there is federal involvement, investor-owned properties and utilities, and cooperatives. 

The revenue in the sector was over 400 billion in the year before the pandemic, which means that there’s a lot of money at play. Even though the utility corporations are starting to notice the strain that solar produces, they must adapt to the newer model. A hybrid system at the moment is definitely going to wreak havoc on the existing infrastructure. 

The general public has voted for massive change when it comes to the ground model, which hasn’t been changed for more than a century. One of the biggest problems here is that electricity doesn’t get stored when it gets created. Instead, it’s transmitted through the grid to be used instantaneously. That’s one of the biggest issues in energy consumption overall. 

When the grid is overworked, you might see your lights flicker, which means that there is a lot of demand at that moment. However, if there’s not enough use for the energy that was created at a single moment, it’s going to waste. Plus, there are all the transporting costs. This means that companies need to strike a balance when it comes to production and use. 

If someone were to add renewables into the mix, that would make it even more complicated since there’s no specific amount of energy that can be created. If it’s sunny, there’s going to be a lot. If it’s cloudy, there’s not going to be enough. This calls for a decentralized model where every household could use power from the grid but also give back when they have excess power.  

Price and efficiency 

At the moment, getting a complete solar system in your home will make a small dent in your pocket. The cost ranges anywhere between 15 000 to 25 000 dollars, depending on where you live and what kind of product you want to be installed. This is a hefty expense that a lot of people don’t want to pay. To incentivize spending, there have been government subsidies in the form of the ITC or the PPA. 

Additionally, the entire sector needs to improve when it comes to efficiency since most panels are working at 15 to 20 percent capacity. The bulk of the energy that comes from the sun doesn’t get caught, which is due to the fact that most of the panels are fixed and unable to move.  

Logistics of the supply chain 

A couple of years ago, there was a massive demand for solar panels. You can go to https://www.solargraf.com/ to read more. A lot of companies started manufacturing, and at one point, the demand stopped, leaving an oversupply during the historic expansion. 

Because there were so many investments and loans taken out, there were dozens of companies that went out of business. Even though now everything is cheaper, that doesn’t mean that the people who got burnt once will fall for the same trick again. 

This rapid expansion cost some investors millions of dollars, which could lead to decreased funding in the future. Since the panels were expensive at that time, only financially astute homeowners could afford them. There’s still a long way that this sector needs to go before it reaches commercial adoption. 


Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 8 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

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