The PV (photovoltaic) industry is growing rapidly in the energy world, and so far it has nearly become the fastest-growing industry in the energy sphere. It’s development will not stop but will continuously grow and become leader of the energy world. There are a variety of reasons that show this is possible.
Solar electricity is becoming cheaper and cheaper.
Previously a kWh of electricity from sunlight could be as high as $10, while today the lowest price can be only several cents. This is mainly due to the technological improvements in solar cells and PV inverters, and also to governments’ subsidies and fierce competition. And these measures are still being refined.
Creating new jobs makes us happy.
As distributed solar power generation and power plant power generation are entering their mature phase, more jobs have been created for those who have long been unemployed. As unemployment rate decreases, people will become happier.
Energy independence eases annoyance and worry.
Is it cool if you don’t have to pay power bills anymore? Once you have installed a grid-tied PV system, you don’t have to pay power bills anymore unless you use too much power that passes the amount you feed the utility grid. The feeding and being fed process is called net metering.
Solar power generation is environmentally friendly.
Not like power generation with fossil fuels, this method is clean and friendly to the environment. Solar panels are mainly made of silicon, and the entire power generation process is clean, having no relations to pollution. This is good for your personal environment as well as for the whole environment.
More cheaper materials will be found.
Now the main material for solar panels is silicon, and cells made of it can reach an efficiency of over 20%, which is far away from high efficiency. To make more effective panels, researchers have found new materials. For example, perovskite is the typical one found that can boost the efficiency to 35%. Besides, the material is cheaper. No doubt, more materials like this will be found in the future.
Highly efficient PV inverters have been invented.
These inverters work to convert the direct current from solar panels to alternating current for home consumption. So far the highest efficiency can even reach over 99%. Those that are used in homes can be as efficient as 96% or so, and those used for power plants can be as high as 98.5%. Besides, more add-value features like transformerless design, waterproof function and WiFi monitoring are available. The future products will surely become much better and smarter.
Solar electricity can serve more people than utilities can.
Although our world has been networked by the utility grids, there are still many areas where these grids cannot reach. Residents living in many parts of India and Africa are a typical example. Now India is building off-grid PV systems in these areas, aiming to get rid of blackouts there. Africa is working too.
Lower voltage systems make DIY possible.
Currently microinverters have been introduced to residential PV power systems. Systems with these inverters can make system voltages lower, because each panel is only connected to one inverter. For those who love DIY, this technological improve is indeed very lovable. However, you also need to have some basic installation training.
With these advantages, the PV industry is sure to make a difference in the future. In fact, other factors like higher energy consumption demands, cheaper panels and inverters are coming from solar panel manufacturers in China, nicer subsidies and others are also great contributors to the final takeoff of the industry. That’s why it will become the leader.