The amount of sunlight that solar panel systems can convert into real electricity is called performance and the result determines the efficiency of the solar panel. Like any young industry, the solar industry faces a number of obstacles. Increasing efficiency and reliability are top priorities. Other concerns include environmental impacts and dependence on government programs.
There are many opportunities for improvement and the potential for growth abounds. Professionals in the solar industry should focus on technological advances and expanding the benefits of solar energy. Now is the time for solar energy manufacturers, distributors and installers to establish their place in the fledgling industry. Until then, solar energy is unlikely to become a primary source of energy in the northernmost regions of the United States.
For example, Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico receive more than 5.75 kilowatt-hours per day of solar energy on average, while most of New England receives less than 4 kilowatt hours per day. In urban centers, where space becomes a problem, sunroofs or solar glass represent a great opportunity to start producing and using green energy locally. Those at the forefront of improvements in solar efficiency will have the greatest competitive advantage as the industry expands. While solar energy provides many positive environmental benefits, it also presents some environmental challenges.
In many countries, including the United Kingdom, there is still little support available for the significant upfront costs associated with installing solar panels on roofs. IRENA predicts that solar energy waste will amount to 78 million tons by 2050, and some academics have suggested that the amount could even be much higher. Solar panel retailers should start focusing on other solar energy outlets without relying on the tax credit to attract buyers. Solar energy generation follows a fairly predictable routine: it increases throughout the day, peaks in the afternoon, and then decreases as night falls.
Solar energy is a relatively new technology, still under development, but we have seen a marked increase in efficiency and costs have decreased (Swanson Law). The average cost of solar energy isn't worth it in many regions, including the northern half of the continental United States. Although solar energy needs some improvements, it is a better energy solution than current methods. While the tax credit is about to expire, the next few years should be positive for the U.S.
solar industry under the current administration.