Solar panel innovation has continued to advance rapidly with the production of perovskite energy cells. According to the Scientific American, researchers have found that these cells can squeeze up to 35% more energy out of every solar collection cycle, paving the way for further efficiency increases.
As these efficiencies are found, profits soar, and this has made the matter of creating and maintaining solar infrastructure more cost-efficient than ever. Indeed, governments globally are paying even more attention to the benefits.
The move to microgrids
From a combination of government grants and market interest, microgrids have started to spring up across America.
In early January 2020, NPR reported on one such grid that had provided invaluable power supply to parts of California following an unexpected power outage. Providing huge amounts of energy in their own right, these microgrids are using the latest storage technology to provide densely packed but smaller shreds of energy to power the market.
With that benefit comes maintenance efficiencies.
According to industry logistics experts Kardie Equipment, the use of smaller renewable sites – primarily wind powered but also like the microgrids in California – provides an easily maintained site for which equipment can be contracted with ease. As more sites spring up, the technology involved becomes less specialized and, in the long run, more affordable.
Moving resources where it matters
Maintenance costs reduction has allowed enterprises to move money into more important places. Most notably, in cyberdefense.
According to the World Economic Forum, 54% of energy utilities – the vast majority now running electric capacity – expect a cyber attack in 2020. The impact of cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in 2015 has been detrimental to the state, and with dwindling resources, sustaining renewable systems has been difficult.
This is now changing, and businesses are expected to spend more, not only in cyber defenses but in collaboration with other energy networks to create defensive tools. As the integrity of these networks grows, consumers can expect to see reduced fuel costs and a greater level of security.
Spreading the infrastructure
With production and maintenance costs down, it has fallen to international governments to start getting the solar technology spread around. In Austria, this has come in the form of the PV promise, with President Alexander van der Bellen pledging to retrofit 1 million houses with solar panels by 2040.
Given Austria’s cold and snowy climate, this seems folly – but the fractional cost of installing and maintaining solar panels has made ambitious projects like this, where the relatively low amounts of sunlight can be harnessed year-round, more realistic.
Solar power has become so popular that it has presented a truly economic option to individuals, businesses, and governments globally.
Harnessing the savings on infrastructure and maintenance, companies are now doing what they do best – improving consumer prices, improving supply, and improving safety. As a result, 2020 will be a landmark year for good quality renewable energy.