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Solar Energy in 2023: Bright Year, Brighter Future

As 2023 comes to an end, a year marked by significant growth in solar technology and policy, it’s a perfect moment to reflect on the key developments that have shaped the solar industry. At Kasselman Solar, we’ve been at the forefront of these changes. Looking ahead, 2024 promises to be an even more exciting year as we continue to harness the sun’s potential!

Major Milestones of 2023

1. Record-Breaking Solar Installations

2023 saw an unprecedented increase in solar installations worldwide, for both commercial and residential projects. According to Fortune Business Insights, the solar industry has continued an 11% compound annual growth rate the past few years (2). This high, continuous growth rate is expected to continue into 2024 and beyond. This expansion has been driven by declining costs, improved technologies, and supportive government policies. 

2. Technological Innovations

Technological advancements played an important role in recent solar growth as well. Research and development in the solar industry is constant and always evolving as people look for more efficient and attractive ways to take advantage of the sun’s energy. In 2023, research included a material called perovskite which is used in some solar cells to enhance efficiency of the panels (6).

3. Policy Shifts and Government Support

Governments worldwide ramped up their support for renewable energy, with solar energy receiving a significant boost. The United States has passed legislation that extended and enhanced solar investment tax credits which has continued to support more people in going solar. In New York, Governor Hochul is working on a 10-Point Plan which focuses on supporting the growing renewable energy industry in the state. Included in this plan is the goal to get 70% of New York’s electricity from renewable means by 2030 (3). Solar can be a great option to help increase this renewable energy on both the small scale with homeowners, or larger scale with utility and large commercial installations. 

4. Corporate Adoption and Green Initiatives

2023 also witnessed a surge in corporate adoption of solar energy. Major companies, such as Amazon, have committed to powering their operations with 100% renewable energy, with solar playing a key role in their strategies (5). This trend was not limited to tech giants; businesses across various sectors embraced solar to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. As more and more larger companies adopt solar, this trend will be brought to more individuals and homeowners as well, continuing to grow.

Looking Ahead: Solar in 2024

As we enter 2024, the solar industry is projected for even greater achievements. Here are a few trends and developments to watch out for:

1. Continued Cost Reductions

Solar panel costs are expected to continue their downward trajectory, thanks to advancements in manufacturing techniques and economies of scale (4). Fossil fuels, and other nonrenewable energy sources are also set to continue trending upward in costs, which makes solar even more of an attractive option (6). This trend will make solar energy more accessible and affordable for a broader range of consumers and businesses. 

2. Expansion of Solar Storage Solutions

Battery storage technology is set to become a game-changer in 2024. With improvements in battery efficiency and reductions in cost, solar-plus storage systems will become increasingly commonplace, offering greater energy independence and reliability (2). Technology in solar batteries is continuing to improve and become a better option for more people looking to get the most out of their solar system.

3. Growth in Community Solar Projects

In addition to owning solar in the industry, community solar projects are also anticipated to see significant growth in 2024. These projects enable multiple consumers to benefit from a single solar installation, making solar more accessible to people, such as renters, who cannot install panels directly onto their property.

4. Increased Focus on Sustainability

The solar industry’s focus on sustainability will intensify in 2024. Efforts to recycle solar panels and reduce the environmental impact of solar panel production will gain momentum, aligning the industry’s practices with its eco-friendly goals. Solar is a sustainable, renewable resource, however even then there are always ways to improve this throughout the process of making and installing solar panels. 

5. Policy and Regulatory Developments

We expect further supportive policies and regulatory frameworks in 2024, as governments continue to recognize the importance of solar energy in achieving climate goals. These policies will likely include incentives, subsidies, and streamlined permitting processes for solar installation. NYSERDA rebates and tax credits and incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act are just a few examples of ways policy has funded solar in the past, and will continue in the future! 

The year 2023 was a landmark year for solar energy, setting the stage for an even more dynamic 2024. At Kasselman Solar, we remain committed to driving the solar revolution forward, ensuring that clean, renewable energy is accessible to all. The future is bright, and it’s powered by the sun!
Author: Ava Clemenzi