What Happened To Solar Technology

Todd Moses
July 6, 2024

The global solar energy market is experiencing unprecedented growth, driven by technological advancements, supportive policies, and an international push toward sustainability.

Inputs that matter: The global solar energy market is projected to reach new heights in 2024, with installed capacity expected to surpass 1,000 GW.

  • The Asia-Pacific region remains the largest market for solar energy, with China and India leading the way.
  • Europe is also witnessing robust growth, with countries like Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands investing heavily in solar power due to The European Green Deal.
  • In the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act has provided incentives for solar investments, contributing to increased installations.
  • These incentives, such as tax credits and grants, have significantly reduced the initial investment costs for solar installations, making them more attractive to investors.
  • Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE invest in large-scale solar projects to diversify their energy sources and reduce dependence on oil.

The opportunity: Public support for wind and solar power has declined in the U.S. due to various factors, including concerns about their reliability and the impact on traditional energy industries.

  • However, the majority of Americans (63%) still support the goal of the U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2050.
  • Amid a significant federal policy push for electric vehicles, Americans are unenthusiastic about steps to phase out gas-powered cars.
  • In March this year, the Biden administration announced a rule to expand EV sales dramatically.
  • Overall, 58% of Americans oppose these rules that would make EVs at least half of all new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. by 2032.

Zoom in: Supportive policies and regulations are the backbone of solar energy adoption, and they play a crucial role in driving this transition.

  • Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs): These guarantee a fixed price for solar power fed into the grid, ensuring long-term returns for investors.
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS): Mandating that a certain percentage of electricity comes from renewable sources.
  • Tax Incentives and Subsidies: Governments are offering tax credits, grants, and subsidies to lower the initial investment costs for solar installations.

Between the lines: 2024 is marked by significant technological advancements in the solar sector.

  • Bifacial Solar Panels capture sunlight from both sides, increasing efficiency and energy yield.
  • Perovskite Solar Cells, with their promise of higher efficiency and lower production costs, are seen as the next giant leap in solar energy technology, instilling optimism for the future.
  • Improved battery technologies are enhancing the reliability and stability of solar power, allowing for better integration into the grid.

Follow the money: The main hurdle for widespread solar adoption is economic, as these projects necessitate significant upfront investment, especially during inflation.

  • However, these economic challenges also present opportunities for innovative financing models and cost-saving technologies in the solar energy market.

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Read More

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2024/06/27/how-americans-view-national-local-and-personal-energy-choices/
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overview-global-solar-energy-market-2024-ramesh-roy-dfxnc