We're in the middle of winter. But pretty soon the rain will stop, the snow will melt, the home and garden shows will gear up and solar customers will start to plan their investments for the year. At the same time, solar companies of all sizes will remind their customers that the tax credits are going away and they better "buy now" to lock in pricing at these low rates.
OK, one can pretty much take these predictions to the bank. But what will happen in the solar industry in 2015? What kind of mergers and acquisitions activities will we see? How will the "long tail" of small installers fare against the big national installers? Will we get an extension of the ITC, or will a Republican-dominated Congress try to sideline renewables and keep drilling? Will the residential solar leasing curve flatten in favor of loans and cash purchases? What impact will tariffs have on the prices of modules. Will BOS costs continue to fall? Who will win the Super Bowl?
I don't know. But I can guess. I've peered through my cracked crystal ball and ten predictions have come into focus (all except the Super Bowl winner). So listen up to this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World for my perspective on the solar industry's prospects for 2015.
About The Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock