10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 2018

on December 28, 2017

energy storage greentech mediaI’m back with my yearly list of predictions for the rooftop solar industry. I did OK on last year’s predictions, only completely whiffing on two.

This year, I’m combining my solar predictions with storage, since battery storage is rapidly becoming integrated with PV systems.

1. U.S. solar cell manufacturing won’t restart anytime soon

Billions of dollars in long-term investments are required to achieve large-scale production of the next generation of high-efficiency solar cells. With the right solar industrial policies in place, the cell industry can indeed recover, and bring along associated panel and component manufacturing. Unfortunately, implementing policies to support these investments does not seem to be a priority in Washington, D.C.

2. The panel shortage will not mitigate until the end of Q2

The threat of tariffs is already causing a panel shortage. It takes about a month to finalize and ship orders to a port, and another month to ship containers from overseas — assuming panels are in stock. Without solar panels there can be no completed systems, so there will be a commensurate decline in revenue among all system components.

3. Wires will disappear from solar system monitoring 

Cellular cloud-based solutions will prove to be more cost effective for monitoring. Experienced contractors are realizing that spending a few hundred dollars more on cellular monitoring is much cheaper than Ethernet-WiFi-ZigBee fiddling, and the inevitable customer callbacks as a result of home network failures.

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GreenTech Media10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 2018