While residential solar growth stalled slightly in the beginning of 2020, the sector finished the year strong and is projected for a solid expansion in 2021. Industry analysts are forecasting 25-30 percent year-over-year growth for 2021.
However, recent developments might push these growth projections even higher. Across the country during the past year, extreme weather events have disrupted electricity grids, created massive power outages and caused a spike in power bills.
This unpredictability has led to homeowners wanting greater reliability and more control over their electricity, resulting in more interest in solutions like rooftop PV systems and energy storage. In the week after the winter storm hit Texas, online solar installation marketplace EnergySage reported a jump of 335 percent in new user registrations.
Let’s take a look at the rise in extreme weather events, and how that’s playing a big role in driving demand for residential solar installations.
Extreme Weather Events on the Rise
Climate change has been causing a significant uptick in extreme weather events in recent years.
On the West Coast, a dry lightning storm in August set off massive wildfires in California, primed by a prolonged, record-breaking heat wave. The resulting fires caused major disruptions to the power grid.
The August 2020 Midwest derecho, a sudden, hurricane-force windstorm, spawned 17 tornadoes across the midwest and left more than a million homes without water and electricity. While derechos are nothing new in the Midwest, the intensity, scale and sudden appearance of this one took meteorologists by surprise.
Most notably, in February, the unprecedented winter storm that swept across 25 states left millions with power. Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall on an unwinterized grid left about 4 million people without power for nearly a week in Texas. The same storm also led to destructive tornadoes across Florida, North Carolina and Georgia, causing additional, widespread power outages.
Unfortunately, climate experts only expect an increase in the risk of the types of extreme weather events described here. This extreme weather can all potentially lead to major grid outages nearly anywhere in the country. In certain markets, such as the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), these grid outages can lead to major price spikes for wholesale and retail electricity rates. This, in turn, translates to massive home utility bills.
Residential Solar Makes A Difference
In response to the uncertainty and growing risks, homeowners, now more than ever, want reliability and greater control of their energy sources.
That’s where residential solar comes into play. The increasing volatility in the traditional energy grid coupled with energy policies in certain markets is making solar a more appealing investment.
Beyond the resiliency and control provided to individual homeowners, residential PV systems also help alleviate pressure on the overall grid. And producing energy closer to where it’s used means fewer transmission lines stretching long distances which could go down during extreme weather.
In addition to the reliability and control for homeowners, the extension of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the increasing affordability of residential modules should also serve as a selling point. The 26 percent ITC will now remain in effect until 2023 for residential solar, which should make solar a great option for homeowners.
An energy storage system should also play a key role in a home’s backup power system. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires a battery storage system that uses islanding technology to energize when the grid is down. Islanding tech is when a distributed generator (DG) continues to power a location even though electrical grid power is no longer present.
Installers selling residential PV systems should make sure to inform customers about the reliability offered by rooftop solar.
How Trina Solar can help
Trina Solar has been manufacturing high quality residential solar panels for decades.
During this time, our panels have gained a reputation among industry experts and third-party analysts as being highly reliable and durable. PVEL has consistently ranked Trina Solar as a ‘Top Performer’ in its annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard.
Our all-black Residental Modules automatically come equipped with Trina Protect, the easiest 25-year product and 25-year performance warranty program on the market. This provides customers and installers alike with consistent reliability that brings total peace of mind.
Want to know more about how Trina Solar’s residential modules can help put homeowners more in control of their power? Reach out to us today to learn more!
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