Solar panels. Solar power. The capacity for producing green energy through this unbelievable technology is expanding once again. Along with solar’s cousins, including wind energy, the demand and capacity of these systems hit a record level globally just last year.
This year is set to break that record according to the International Energy Agency, also known as the IEA, a Paris based organization. According to a recent report from Electrek, the world added 295 gigawatts (GW) of green energy capacity in 2021, setting a world record.
Supply chain issues were overcome, construction delays were mitigated, and the high cost of materials due to inflation couldn’t stop or even slow the growth of solar. The IEA’s recent Renewable Energy Market Update reflected as much.
In a nutshell, solar rebates and incentives, along with the Fed’s 26% ITC (Investment Tax Credit), are so generous at the moment, that homeowners are jumping on the opportunity to go solar in droves. They’re cutting their monthly energy costs up to 70%, oftentimes getting their panels installed with no upfront costs at all.
Is Zero Down Solar Creating World Records?
The trajectory goes something like this: green energy additions are anticipated to increase by 25 gigawatts this year, bringing the total number to 320 GW. For perspective, this is basically equal to hitting the entire energy demand for the nation of Germany.
Another comparison: the EU (European Union) has an impressive benchmark it reaches annually from its natural gas energy generation. The green capacity increase we’re looking at is also at that level. And solar is the true key player here, as it’s set to account for 60% of green energy growth worldwide in 2022.
Wind and hydropower come in at second and third. With more solar installers offering bigger rebates, and more generous incentives than ever before, many homeowners are finding the decision to go solar an easy one.
Side Stepping Inflation By Going Solar
The U.S. is leading the charge, but the EU is right there with us. In Europe, green energy additions jumped by nearly 30% in 2021, hitting 36 gigawatts overall. This year and next year are looking strong, with Brussels looking to launch their “European Solar Rooftops Initiative” in short order.
The plan would reduce fossil fuel power sources like oil and gas for energy and heating in both residential and commercial buildings. Moving away from Russia’s fossil fuels is another endgame here, as Reuters recently reported more and more countries are seeking energy independence through green, renewable sources like solar.
According to Euronews: “The scheme would require the EU and national governments to take action this year to limit permitting times to three months for rooftop installations. It would push countries to use EU funding and launch support programs for rooftop panels, and install solar energy in all suitable public buildings by 2025.”
IEA Attributes Solar’s Growth to Policy Support in China, EU, and Latin America
The U.S. has not been excluded here, however. As the IEA noted, “The US outlook is clouded by uncertainty over new incentives for wind and solar and by trade actions against solar PV imports from China and Southeast Asia. Cutting red tape, accelerating permitting, and providing the right incentives for faster deployment of renewables are some of the most important actions governments can take to address today’s energy security and market challenges, while keeping alive the possibility of reaching our international climate goals.”
The bigger concern may come next year, as green energy could plateau. This would not be due to solar, however, as a 40% decrease from hydropower and a flattening in wind-generated energy is expected to hit nations worldwide.
It will come down to policy makers both internationally and domestically to combat this, and the answer could be solar. The pandemic, combined with supply chain issues, inflation, and the global unrest between Russia and Ukraine has created some obstacles.
Solar Is The Answer, and Here’s Why
Despite these obstacles mentioned above, green energy sources remain competitive, with household solar’s market share only expected to grow. Inflation has caused fossil fuel prices to skyrocket, and homeowners are noticing the rising rates and fees.
Many homeowners see savings of up to 70% or more in energy costs after making the switch to solar. And with zero down installation growing ever more popular, homeowners have been able to make the switch without pulling one penny out of their pockets.
A greener, cleaner world where homeowners become energy independent? “Where do I sign up,” you might ask. The answer is simple: compare multiple quotes from local installers, negotiate terms that work for you, and get that rooftop solar array of your dreams installed in no time at all. It’s the American way after all.
And now it’s becoming the way of the world as well.