Over the course of the next 25 years, trillions of dollars will be invested in new forms of electricity, such as renewable energy. This forecast indicates that renewables are indeed the energy of our future.
If you need convincing, just take a look at this article from a contributor at Forbes. "Solar power will become a viable alternative to fossil fuels – ahead of coal, hydro and nuclear – within a decade, says the International Energy Agency. And by 2050, solar will be the world’s largest source of electricity, said the Paris-based agency, which is better known to business for its oil price forecasts. The economics of the switch will drive a $44-trillion investment boom, a staggering sum compared to the $900 billion a year pumped into fossil fuels at present."
While solar power is certainly gaining momentum, it wasn't always a steady competitor in the pool of fossil fuels. Let's take a closer look at why solar is currently one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and how you can use its popularity to your advantage as an installer.
The growing popularity of small-scale solar power
Consumers are becoming more efficient
The interest in renewable technologies has risen dramatically over the past decade. The growth in the industry has been driven by a number of factors, one of which is consumer behavior. In order to meet an ever-growing consumer demand for efficiency, today's brands are positioning their products as "green" or highly efficient.
What this tells us is that consumers are taking steps toward becoming more environmentally conscious and looking for new ways to reduce their carbon footprints. While this is just scratching at the surface, the growing demand of energy-efficient products demonstrates where the market is trending and where our future is headed.
Solar is becoming more affordable
As the price of solar continues to decline, the number of investments continues to grow. In fact, according to Solar Power World: "The further decline in the cost of photovoltaic technology will drive a $3.7 trillion surge in investment in solar, both large-scale and small-scale. Some $2.2 trillion of this will go on rooftop and other local PV systems, handing consumers and businesses the ability to generate their own electricity, to store it using batteries and – in parts of the developing world – to access power for the first time."
Whether you're interested in a stand-alone, off-the-grid solar power system or a simple solar PV power generator, you can find a solution that provides a return on your investment. Additionally, consumers can take advantage of a number of different tax credits and rebates. The Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, for example, is contributing to the surge in solar power as it allows taxpayers' to claim a 30 percent rebate on their solar investment. Depending on your state, these incentives can dramatically lower the cost of solar.
Businesses are turning solar into an advantage
As consumers continue to adopt renewable solutions, everyone from the small business to the major corporation can reap the benefits of this surge in interest and take advantage of the ever-growing demand to scale their business.
As a solar installer, you have an opportunity to position the value of solar as more than just simple savings on monthly energy bills. According to Living Green Magazine: "In California, homes with solar power typically sell twice as fast as homes without this feature. Solar power will also increase the rate of appreciation on your home. In California, homes appreciated 55% with solar panels and just 45% without." In addition to an increase in home-value, installers can promote various tax credits and rebates on solar installations to attract customers who may be more motivated by incentives. The Investment Tax Credit, for example, can significantly reduce your customer's Investment Tax Credit, and given its recent extension, your customers can reap its benefits for years to come.
On a much larger scale, brands like Costco, Ikea and Macy's are among the largest commercial solar installers in the world. Since brand relationships are commonly built on shared values, these corporate sustainability initiatives are only going to grow more popular with consumers. But you don't have to be among America's biggest brands to resonate with the consumer. Small businesses can certainly use the same business model to grow their business.
Interested in taking the next step into small-scale solar? Check out a recording of our webinar on Small Commercial Solar: Growing Your Business With This Untapped Sector.