What Are The Solar Trends In 2023?

With solar energy becoming increasingly popular in the United States, there are many trends to look out for in 2023. These trends can help you determine if solar power is right for your home or business. 

One of the biggest trends to watch for is community solar. This is where a group of solar installers come together to boost their businesses. 

Increased Efficiency 

Solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that can reduce your monthly electric bills. Some states also offer net-metering programs that allow homeowners to sell any excess electricity they produce back to the grid, increasing their savings over time. 

One of the biggest trends in 2023 is increased efficiency in solar panels. Manufacturers are constantly releasing more efficient solar panels that generate more power with less space. 

Panel efficiency is determined by a number of factors. For example, the anti-reflexive coating on solar cells is vital to reducing light reflection and the quality of the glass layer on top of a solar module is crucial for absorbing light. 

While the efficiency of solar panels is improving, it’s important to note that it only happens in top conditions and will gradually decline over time as the panel ages and are exposed to the elements. This means it’s essential to check your home’s weather forecast and plan your solar system accordingly. 

Increased Storage 

With solar power continuing to gain popularity, there is also a rising demand for storage. This trend is expected to continue in 2023 as technology continues to improve and become more cost-effective. 

One of the main drivers for this is the increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, with EV demand forecast to grow to over 836 million by 2050. These EVs require short- and long-duration battery storage solutions. 

This will require increased innovation to drive down costs while delivering better performance and reliability. It will also require an accelerated adoption of AI, which can help optimize energy storage systems to maximize the use of EVs and other vehicles. 

Supply chain challenges, primarily in China, continue to impact solar installations in 2023. Fortunately, some of these issues are beginning to calm down. Wood Mackenzie projects that supply chain disruptions will ease by Q2 2023, which should positively influence installation projections. 

Increased Integration 

As the solar power industry evolves and matures, it is increasingly focused on integrating solar with other systems. This includes incorporating storage, improving the efficiency of PV panels, and increasing grid flexibility. 

This integration can be difficult, as solar power production is erratic and cannot be planned around peak demand times (which are when people need the most energy). To overcome these challenges, it’s important to develop solutions that allow solar to work alongside other technologies and enable them to interact with one another. 

The Solar Futures Study, from SETO and NREL, dives into a wide variety of potential scenarios to envision how the world might use solar technology in 2035 and beyond. These scenarios are designed to help stakeholders understand what opportunities exist in a world where solar is paired with other decarbonization and electrification technologies like electric vehicles, grid flexibility, and storage. 

The solar power sector is facing several challenges that affect the business, including increasing demand for solar, emphasis on energy efficiency and effectiveness, and regulatory pressures. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions that can help solar companies thrive in the future. 

Increased Demand 

Solar power is the cheapest option for new electricity generation, and global capacity is set to almost triple in the next five years. This capacity growth has been sparked by the ongoing global energy crisis and government policy support for renewables, with global wind capacity also forecast to double in this time period. 

Residential installations are rising, with homeowners seeking to reduce their energy costs by turning part or all their electricity usage to solar. These systems are often paired with battery storage to provide additional benefits, with over 29% of new behind-the-meter systems expected to be paired with storage by 2025, compared to under 11% in 2021. 

Utility-scale projects are also catching up due to increased demand from states, utilities, and corporations seeking to meet their clean energy goals. As more of these organizations are looking to convert part or all their energy infrastructure to solar, the utility-scale industry should continue to expand.