Over the past 5 years the solar industry has been growing at an incredible pace. This is mainly due to the dramatic price reduction of producing solar cells, the advancements in solar technology and federal tax incentives.
Utah has been experiencing the same solar boom as the rest of the country. This year there have already been over 16,000 solar arrays installed in Utah. That number is expected to grow to around 17,000 solar arrays by the end of the year.
How big of an increase is that over past years? In 2012 only 1,200 solar arrays were installed in the entire state, according the number of net metering agreements signed. Nationwide, solar installations in 2016 will see a 116% increase from 2015(GTM).
With such a big increase in solar installations, it's natural to start thinking about what solar will look like in the next 5 years.
The Future of Solar
Over the next few years, solar installations nationwide are expected to continue to increase. With changes in net metering agreements happening in more states though, solar viability is decreasing for many homeowners.
These changes in net metering policy are going to usher a new era for solar and renewable energy. Residential solar is expected to start shifting towards battery backup systems. With companies like Tesla developing more lithium ion batteries, solar battery back up systems are becoming more viable.
Battery backup systems would allow a homeowner to produce power during the day, charge their battery, and use the battery to power their home at night.
Looking forward 10 or 15 years, we could start seeing a switch to micro grids. Rather than being connected to one big grid, if enough people switch to solar, neighborhoods could all be connected to their own micro grid.
The micro grid would work exactly how the current grid works but instead of sending electricity from hundred of miles away that was produced at fossil fuel burning power plants, electricity would be produced and shared from around your neighborhood.
Switching to micro grids would also increase the efficiency of electricity since energy is lost transporting electricity long distances. A micro grid system could be built to allow people to sell excess energy to neighbors that need it.
We believe micro grids are the true future of residential electricity.
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