How Widespread will Solar Energy be Soon
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According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy capacity is expected to expand by 50% over 5 years between 2019 and 2024, and solar PV alone accounts for 60% of the projected growth.
Solar energy, widely recognised as a cost-competitive and reliable source of energy, has come a long way in a decade. The revolution began in 2008 when there were 6.7 GW worth new installations from 2.5 GW the year before. Back then, the global market was highly dependent on subsidy regimes as solar energy harvesting was expensive and highly inefficient which is now increasingly low cost. In 2020, there will be more than 115 GW of solar installed world over, according to the World Economic Forum.
In India, installed renewable power generation capacity has increased at a fast pace, making it rank 4th in wind power, 5th in solar power, and 5th in renewable power installed capacity as of 2018. A total of 31,696 MW of grid-connected solar power generation capacity was set up in the country till October 2019.
The wonders of technology are not hidden, and it seems that it has caught up solar energy as well, in terms of cost and efficiency. In fact, in the coming years, technological advancements will ensure that solar becomes even cheaper.
The ever-evolving form of power is at the brink of mass adoption and it is expected to become the most important source of energy for electricity production, the world over, by 2030. Going forward solar costs are expected to halve by 2030, thanks to cost reduction roadmaps of the solar industry.
Bifacial PV modules and the rapid application of single-axis trackers are helping to fuel the growth of solar energy.
Solar Energy is on the Rise and How
According to a report by climate think-tank Ember, electricity generated globally from solar energy grew by 22% year-on-year in 2019.
The widespread increase in the use of solar power is due to a couple of reasons including global warming, scarcity of renewable sources of energy, and global policy changes. As the effects of global warming are felt around the world in everything from droughts to mega-hurricanes, the implementation of solar power is now a significant feature of global policy and economics. In recent years, the cost of solar energy production has reached its record low, leaving the market with no choice but to explore solar for-profit motive alone.
Why Rooftop Solar Still Remains Untapped for Residential Customers?
Residential consumers face many constraints in rooftop solar installation as follows:
- Roofless Houses or Apartments
As migration to urban areas or metro cities continue, it is boosting the culture of societies and apartments, a switch from large roof space to roofless accommodations. Additionally, with changing lifestyles, power consumption is also increasing. But limited roof area or no roof at all constrains the capacity of solar PV plants that can be installed.
- High Cost of Rooftop Solar
The cost of solar PV plants and the ROI associated with it are triggering second thoughts for its adoption. Though the prices have dropped by huge margins in the last few years, it remains expensive. Companies need to do away with affordability as a constraint to increase the installation of rooftop solar.
- Power Storage
The current charging time ranges between 8 to 9 hours which is too high as people want instant charging. However, lithium-ion battery, known as a miracle battery, has advantages far outweigh the shortcomings, which is why they are known as the future of the solar universe.
- Grid-Connected System
A grid-connected PV system at present is dominated by string inverters that require solar panels to be wired in series. That means if one solar panel's output is affected, the entire series of solar panels will bear the brunt. However, microinverters will continue to play a major role in the future of residential solar as they're reliable and can lead to lower costs.
Additionally, the integration of micro-inverter operations into the phone is awaited in the future. That means people will be able to repair the system from home through their smartphones, doing away with physical intervention, time-consuming, and expensive service.
- Floating Solar Farms
Talking about the location of a typical solar installation, what instantly strikes the mind is a rooftop of some sort or a field converted into a solar farm. But, have you ever thought of a bunch of solar panels floating in an ocean? Well, that’s real! Building a solar farm in this manner would protect the existing land-based agricultural and terrestrial ecosystems from re-development.
- The Future of Solar Panels
Companies like Tesla are working on a newer form of solar energy production, the solar roof. The technology provides the added benefit of solar energy generation and looks like any other panel. This is a perfect example of how solar energy is becoming a “built-in” feature. The ongoing pace of solar energy adoption and advancements in technology makes it evident that the vast majority of our surfaces will soon be generating electricity.
ConclusionAccording to research conducted by BloombergNEF, wind and solar energy are now the least expensive forms of power in a major part of the world and technological innovations are pushing it towards an even brighter future. The future looks bright with solar energy as one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels and clean energy a reality.