By Sarah Lozanova, Solar Writer
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the solar energy industry has been remarkably resilient. Rapid technology improvements, government incentives for solar panels, and the increasing competitiveness of solar energy storage batteries have helped boost clean energy deployment.
Although 2022 does seem like a very promising year for solar energy installations, there are some potential hurdles along the way. So, what should you expect for 2022, and how can you prepare? Identifying upcoming trends can help your company be adaptive to the changing business climate in 2022 and beyond.
Solar Technology Will Continue To Improve
Solar panels continue to become more efficient, enabling homes and businesses to produce more electricity in a limited space. Increasingly, solar PV panels are lighter weight, have a sleeker appearance and thinner profile, making them more visually appealing. In addition, solar shingles are becoming more widespread, and there are more available products than ever before. Despite these improvements, solar energy costs seem to be remaining relatively stable.
In addition, many solar panel manufacturers are offering longer warranties than ever before, making solar a safer investment. Even liquid solar panels are being developed and show promise. Likewise, solar inverters are also advancing, helping to boost total solar system efficiency.
These advancements are good news for solar contractors, and they are helpful to understand so you can explain them to potential customers.
Additional Solar Applications Will Gain Popularity
As solar energy technology advances, its use in a variety of products is becoming more widespread and affordable. For example, solar-powered LED streetlights cut energy bills and carbon emissions in many urban areas while protecting public safety and promoting energy efficiency. PV noise barriers along highways make nearby communities more livable while generating renewable energy. In addition, EV chargers are increasingly powered by solar panels.
Expect to see photovoltaic solar applications expanding as new uses are found for solar power. Keeping current on these trends could potentially open up opportunities for new service offerings for your solar energy company.
Demand For Solar Installation And Maintenance Will Grow
Concern over climate change and PV cost reductions are fueling growth in a clean energy transition. As solar capacity and concern about sustainability increases, so does the need for solar installation services. Likewise, now that there are more operating systems than ever before, there are also more systems to maintain and repair. Although increased demand for solar energy companies is mainly good news, it can create logistical issues for companies as they grow their businesses.
Unfortunately, labor shortages in many parts of the country have stressed solar companies.
As a result, try to anticipate your hiring needs, allow longer hiring periods when possible, and remember to train new employees adequately, especially regarding safety protocols. Such measures are essential for maintaining high levels of customer service as you expand your business.
If possible, hire some new technicians that have been through solar training programs or have prior solar energy installation or sales experience.
More Widespread Adoption Of Solar Storage Solutions
The United States has experienced several high-profile power outages in the last couple of years, prompting more potential customers to consider solar batteries. For example, the 2021 Texas Power Crisis left millions of homes without electricity, some for many days. In addition, utility companies on the West Coast have used public safety power shutoffs to prevent wildfires during times of severe droughts. And the pandemic has encouraged some home and business owners to think of ways to be more self-sufficient.
At the same time, the cost of advanced solar batteries has fallen while the capacity has increased in recent years. In addition, the federal tax credit and numerous state or utility incentives include the cost of solar batteries. For example, in California, the Self-generation Incentive Program (SGIP) significantly lowers the cost for solar with battery storage for qualified homes, businesses, and organizations
All of these factors are converging, and there continues to be a significant increase in sales for solar with battery storage. As a result, even existing customers with solar power systems might be good candidates for adding storage capacity.
As a solar installer, it is wise to take advantage of the increasing demand for solar storage solutions. Adding content about battery storage on your website, social media channels, and promotional materials are a great place to get started.
Supply Chain Limitations Will Impact Solar Production
The COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on global supply chains. Factory closures, import tariffs, shortages of raw materials, and shipping bottlenecks are creating supply chain shortages and delays. The solar energy sector isn’t immune to these constraints.
Often, solar panels and other equipment come from China. Many factories were forced to close during the 2020 lockdown, but some supply chains have not fully recovered from this disruption. In addition, there have been shortages of silicon, an essential ingredient in manufacturing solar panels. Likewise, transportation has been an issue as some ports are incredibly congested, creating further delays.
It can be challenging to understand the intricacies of supply chain shortages, but anticipating their possibility can be helpful. Ask suppliers what to expect and let customers know that potential delays are possible due to equipment shortages. Many customers will be understanding if they know in advance and issues are communicated to them.
Expect A Mix Of Traditional And Remote Sales Techniques To Continue
As the pandemic drags on, many solar companies continue to do remote sight surveys. Some companies like this because it can save time and money. Other companies prefer face-to-face interactions and the opportunity to establish rapport in person.
Regardless of preference, maintaining effective remote sales techniques is critical for a successful solar energy business. Expect to see some slow reintroduction of traditional sales techniques but with an eye towards more savvy and streamlined processes. Some businesses have found solar design software helpful because some programs can conduct shade analysis of a property without accessing the roof.
2022 Will Be Another Big Year For Solar BusinessAlthough 2022 seems promising for solar energy deployment over building new fossil fuel power plants, some hiccups are likely. Thus, it is critical to pay attention to trends and anticipate supply chain and labor shortages to maintain high levels of customer service.
Originally published on GreenLancer
More Articles By Sarah Lozanova, Solar Energy Writer:
How Much Does a Home Solar System Cost?
Guide to Free Solar Panels
Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value?
What is a Microgrid?
Shopping Guide: Best Solar Panels
Sarah Lozanova is a renewable energy copywriter and solar marketing specialist that uses digital marketing campaigns to drive results. She has an ability to gain media attention, boost website traffic, and engage interest on social media platforms. Lozanova connects solar energy companies to their target markets, by raising visibility, then hooking and engaging readers to request more information or take next steps.
Her renewable energy writer experience includes residential and commercial solar energy, battery energy storage systems, electric vehicles, and utility-scale wind energy, and she is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living. Sarah Lozanova holds an MBA in sustainable management from Presidio Graduate School and resides in Midcoast Maine.