Solar energy has grown largely within the last decade and is becoming more and more common every year. Since the year 2000, the solar industry has seen a 49% average increase in the United States. Technically, solar energy has been used for thousands of years even though it may not be in the same ways as we use it today. The origins of utilizing the suns power goes back to when the use of magnifying glasses or even mirrors would be combined with the direct sunlight to start fires. It is easy to see that solar energy has since come a long way from burning objects with intensified sun beams, but what does this evolution show? We have been able to modernize the production of power from the sun and it is only getting better. Solar energy has grown to be seen in many forms — from commercialized use, to residential, and even to smaller items used in your day-to-day — and the possibilities for further growth are endless.
It is no secret as to why solar is becoming increasingly more widespread; it is more affordable and therefore more accessible. The cost of an average residential energy system has dropped roughly around 50% within the last decade and current utility-scale costs are highly competing with all other forms of energy at a range of $16/MWh - $35/MWh. Other incentives along with the gradual decrease in overall system pricing such as tax credits have also made the allure of solar energy so much greater in recent years. In 2019, owners of solar PV systems were given a 30% claim for credit and will drop to 26% in 2020. Even with this slight decrease in credit percentage, the value of solar energy compared to other forms of non-sustainable energy sources over time is unmatched.
The future of solar energy does not solely rely on residential and utility usage. Solar has become so attainable that it is seen in more common, smaller quantities and forms. Homeowners may not have made the switch to panels on their roof, but you may have noticed accent lighting fixtures along walkways or driveways with a mini solar panel-like top. Outdoor lighting for homes, camping, or other portable forms are quickly moving towards becoming solar based items overall. Products such as lanterns, flashlights, backyard and accent lights, and even most streetlights are all commonly seen items. With the growth of solar as an easy-to-use, trustworthy, and inexpensive lighting option, these items quickly made the switch.
Lighting isn’t the only possibility for small-scale solar usage, though. While it is not as common to see items such as phone chargers, tents and grills being solarized, they are the future of solar energy. As communities as a whole move towards solar energy with normalizing the electricity form in items like solar radar feedback signs, individuals slowly are moving towards incorporating solar into their daily lives. There is only room to grow when it comes to where solar energy will be seen in years to come.
 “Solar Industry Research Data,” accessed November 16, 2020, https://www.seia.org/solar-industry-research-data.
 “Guide to Federal Tax Credit for Residential Solar PV,” energy.gov (U.S Department of Energy, January 2020), https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/01/f70/Guide%20to%20Federal%20Tax%20Credit%20for%20Residential%20Solar%20PV.pdf, 1.
Solar Opportunities is a Full-Service Solar Consultation, Design and Install company services Pennsylvania. Our cutting edge design platform enables inquiring minds to access all the information they need to know in a clear, transparent fashion in a short amount of time. Systems can be designed from satellite imagery for residential, commercial and agricultural properties. For more information, visit us at https://www.solaropportunitiesllc.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 570-637-6384.