The Coming Solar PV Revolution Will Be Electrifying
A Huge Solar PV Boom is Imminent
Solar PV investment is currently representing over half of all investment in the renewable energy sector. IRENA reports that in 2015, off-grid applications reached USD $267 million, utility-scale systems reached USD $92 billion, and rooftop solar PV reached USD $67 billion in investments.
Australia has seen a substantial rise in rooftop solar installations. Over 1.5 million Australian homes and small businesses have spent over $8 billion in rooftop solar PV investments.
Australian Solar Quotes* has a dedicated team closely monitoring the solar and renewable energy sector. ASQ Founder and Editor Darryn Van Hout agrees that “the next huge boom in the solar industry is imminent.” Darryn believes that the next wave of the solar revolution will be in the areas of smart meters, energy storage, and home automation.
Pairing Solar Rooftops with Smart Meters
All around the world, utility companies are now installing smart meters on residential and business properties. Collecting information for the Smart Grid, smart meters relay kilowatt-hour usage every fifteen minutes to the utility company, transferred via the internet. Utility customers can access this information, and modify their energy usage as desired.
By linking energy rates to “time of use,” electricity costs can be directly related to grid demand. This incentivizes customers to shift energy consumption to cheaper, “off-peak” times, to help reduce or avoid blackouts. Hot summer months and other peak demand times can therefore be relieved from heavy energy drains that often lead to rolling brownout programs.
Grid-connected residential solar customers would be further incentivized to share excess energy at “peak” usage times, as they would be paid at the higher daytime rate. Shifting energy consumption to evening hours could result in buying back electricity from the grid at cheaper off-peak rates.
Supplementing the Solar Home with Energy Storage
Riding the wave of the solar PV revolution across the globe, energy storage systems are increasingly being built into new installations. Battery storage systems offer significant advantages to homeowners in several ways.
As solar energy is only produced in daylight, storing this energy is vital. Grid-connected customers producing excess solar electricity can choose to store energy in batteries before exporting it to the grid. Having an energy storage system allows grid-dependent customers to consume stored solar electricity at night, rather than having to buy back energy from the grid. Solar PV installations in remote, off-grid locations are especially in need of energy storage systems to power lights, electric appliances, and electronic devices at night.