Research
Sector Report

Q3 2020: a new dawn for solar

  • Multi Asset
  • Utilities
  • North America

There is no doubt solar energy has a bright future. It is now mainstream technology and offers a low-cost alternative to fossil fuels. In the first half of this year, solar represented over a third (37%) of new US electric generation capacity.* Coronavirus may have slowed down panel installations and triggered workforce reductions, but the industry seems well positioned to weather the storm.

One area that has gained further momentum in 2020 is the rapidly evolving solar-plus-storage market. Here, the potential for battery technology to increase the usefulness of a solar system has become a real “head turner”, a former SVP at Sunnova Energy Corp told Third Bridge Forum. Batteries help to manage the balance between electricity generation and demand by storing unused energy for when the sun isn’t shining. We’re told consumers are snapping them up because they want reliability — and they are willing to pay for it. 

We’re going to continue to see that trend, as well as derivatives of it, as the country, the US, and I’m assuming other regions, push towards electrification,” the expert continued. Although this shift pre-dates the pandemic, appetite for self-supply has been amplified by restrictions forcing people to spend more time at home, including for work and study. The lingering uncertainty and upheaval has impacted people’s emotions about the “basic things that you thought of as stable,” according to a former director at Baker Electric Inc. 

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