The United States is undergoing a significant transformation in its energy landscape, and solar power is at the forefront of this shift. With technological advancements, favorable incentives, and an increasing emphasis on environmental responsibility, the future of solar energy in America is more secure than ever. In this blog post, we’ll explore solar’s expected growth, its past exponential growth, the role of favorable payback periods, and the recent rise we’re seeing in battery backups.
Expected Growth in Solar Energy
The future of solar energy in America is poised for remarkable growth. According to a recent SEIA quarterly report, between June and September 2022, for the first time on record, the U.S. installed over 1,500 MW of capacity through home solar systems during a single quarter. SEIA forecasts predict home solar power will grow by around 6,000 to 7,000 MW per year between 2023 and 2027. According to a recent Marketwatch report, more than 1 in 7 U.S. homeowners will have solar panels on their roof by 2030. This growth is driven by several factors, including decreasing solar panel costs, innovative financing options, long-term energy savings, and a growing awareness of the environmental benefits of solar power.
Past Exponential Growth
The exponential growth in solar adoption we’ve seen in the past decade is undeniable. The data from the MarketWatch article underscores this trend, revealing that solar capacity in the United States has more than tripled in the past six years. This staggering growth can be attributed to streamlined installation processes and supportive government policies such as the 30% federal solar tax credit.
Advancements in solar technology have also made solar panels more efficient and affordable than ever before. As the cost of solar panels continues to decrease, the return on investment for homeowners and businesses who invest in solar energy becomes increasingly attractive. This reduction in costs has played a pivotal role in driving the exponential growth we are witnessing today.
Favorable Payback Periods Encourage Solar Adoption
One of the key drivers of solar adoption are favorable payback periods. As the MarketWatch article highlights, the average payback period for a residential solar system in the United States is around 6.5 years. However, according to a survey by CBS News, 52% to 57% of Americans would install solar panels if companies offered a payback period of five years or less. This is already possible in states with expensive electricity rates, especially if those states also have abundant sunshine and government incentives like in California.
Under less favorable conditions, the payback period for a home solar system may increase to around eight to ten years. However, quality solar panels have a lifespan of over 25 years, which is much longer than the typical payback period. This means that, on average, homeowners can recoup their initial investment in solar panels within a relatively short timeframe and continue to enjoy free electricity for years to come.
Battery Backups also on the Rise
As more homeowners make the switch to solar, they are frequently recognizing the value of incorporating battery backups into their home energy systems. Energy storage technology has advanced significantly in recent years, making it a complementary component to solar installations. According to Marketwatch, 66% of respondents in their March 2023 solar survey said they had paired an energy storage system with their solar panels.
The industry is also expecting solar batteries to become financially viable soon. Brett Adams, a senior solar consultant at 8MSolar, explained his projections to Marketwatch: “Solar batteries are still relatively expensive, but they are growing in popularity and we expect their price to drop by the end of this year  and especially heading into next year and beyond. We expect nearly all solar panel systems being installed to have [battery storage] attached to them over the next two to five years as prices decrease and technology improves.”
Some important benefits of batteries is that they not only enhance the reliability of a solar energy system but also provide a degree of energy independence, reducing reliance on the grid. Additionally, battery backups can play a crucial role in grid stability. They can help balance the supply and demand of electricity, reducing strain on the grid during peak usage times. As more homeowners adopt battery storage technology, it contributes to a more resilient and decentralized energy infrastructure which can better withstand disruptions and blackouts.
Now is the Best Time to Go Solar
The future of solar energy in America is undoubtedly promising. The data from the MarketWatch article showcases the remarkable growth of solar installations in recent years, driven by factors such as declining costs, favorable payback periods, and supportive government incentives. Thanks to all these factors, now is the best time in history to invest in your energy future and go solar!
Statistics show that solar power is now the fastest-growing electricity source in the U.S., representing 54% of generation projects planned for 2023. It’s therefore likely that solar energy will continue to outpace fossil fuels in America, lighting the way toward a more sustainable future.
What’s happening in Texas right now with zero-carbon power deployment is extraordinary. ERCOT expanded its utility-scale solar PV by 7X over the past 3.5 years, interconnecting 15.5 gigawatts (AC) to surpass California this year for the first time. That’s 1.5X more than the aggregate solar PV capacity of every state except CA and likely the fastest pace of zero-carbon capacity expansion we’ve seen anywhere outside China to date.
Want to become part of the movement? NATiVE is here to help! Schedule a preliminary consultation with us to determine your home energy needs. You can also use our free online calculator for an instant idea of the cost of a customized system for your home. NATiVE Solar is proud to have over 16 years of experience in the Central Texas solar industry and would love to become part of your solar journey as well!