Solar’s Future as a Mainstream Player Looks Bright

There has been a lot of buzz in the energy world over the past few years regarding renewable energy choices.  At the height of this discussion is solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) technology.  As the price of solar panels decline, solar technology is becoming increasingly popular for businesses looking to stabilize their energy costs as well as help to provide a cleaner, more sustainable environment.  Government incentives at both the national and state levels coupled with 3rd party investors make many opportunities for the transition to solar power become a reality.

According to an article found on The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, New York is included in the list of top ten states with the most solar capacity.  The NY-Sun initiative aims to stimulate New York State’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid with the use of solar technology.

NY-Sun was initially launched in 2012 as an initiative to expand solar incentive programs in New York.  NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority sought to increase technology advancement and system cost-reduction programs.  Since its inception, a total of 316 MW of solar PV has been installed or is under contract.  New York State’s Governor Cuomo recently announced additional funding to NY-Sun, totaling a nearly $1 billion commitment.  This investment provides a long-term funding commitment which attracts private sector investors and creates new economic opportunities that support sustainable development.  Included in this investment is a fund for educational efforts that stress the benefits of PV systems, the various funding and contract opportunities available, as well as introduce the notion of community solar and energy storage.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)’s Solar Market Insight Report 2013 shows that solar PV installations increased 41% from 2012 to 2013.  Solar became the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., second only to natural gas.  This growth can be attributed to the weighted average PV system price falling by 15% in 2013 and funding opportunities and incentives becoming more plentiful, making it more feasible for consumers to transition to a solar PV system.  In addition to the falling price, other benefits that make solar an attractive option for consumers:

–          PV systems are quiet and clean; they do not create noise or air or water pollution.

–          Solar generated electricity provides long-term stabilization of electricity costs.

–          When combined with a battery back-up system, a PV system can provide you with reliable energy when utility power is out.

–          State and federal funding and various incentive programs.

Many factors have contributed to the solar industry’s push into the mainstream.   As federal and state governments continue to develop attractive incentives and private investors remain in the equation, 2014 will be another important year for growth in the solar industry.  As a business owner, it’s a good time to investigate the options for implementing a solar PV system while the incentives are plentiful!   Power Management can take a look at your facility and give you a fair assessment of a solar PV system and how it could benefit your operations as well as your bottom line.