Demand for sustainable energy options has never been higher. Awareness of the environment and climate change is helping to drive more businesses and individuals toward greener power sources. So the major question is: Why don’t more homes have solar panels installed?
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Huge Growth in Solar Forecast
2023 is set to see solar become the quickest-growing area of sustainable energy, with increased demand of up to 30%. Solar panel installations, such as those of this Australian company, visit Mannix.com.au, have increased by approximately 43% since 2019. And one report by Reuters from data supplied by BNEF’s New Energy Outlook estimates that solar and wind could provide up to 56% of all power generation by 2050.
So, if solar power is so popular and seemingly only becoming more so, why don’t more homes have PV installations?
What percentage of homes have solar panel installations?
Statistics on solar panel installations in the US are somewhat tricky to nail down. Some reports state that about 4% of US homes were powered by solar in 2019. However, the EIA reported that 3.7% of homes in 2020 had solar panels. This even included mobile homes. Yet, more worrying, PV Magazine put the figure even lower at just 2.5%.
One thing that is evident though, solar power has grown in popularity. It took four decades for solar panel installations to reach the 1 million mark, but only three more years to exceed 2 million homes in 2019. It is predicted that this will double by 2023, and over 4 million solar panel installations will become a reality in the US.
America, as well as many other nations, has introduced a variety of incentives, including tax credits, to encourage homeowners to install solar panels. Why, then has the take-up been so slow?
Choosing a solar panel installer is simple and many of the benefits of green power are clear. So then, why does America lag behind other nations in this area?
Which country ranks top for solar power take-up?
To say the US is lagging behind other nations when it comes to solar power is actually rather unfair. China is the country that uses the most solar energy. In 2021, China used almost 32% of the world’s solar power. According to the World Population Review, China produced the most solar power at over 300,000 megawatts. But, the US is the second largest generator of solar energy. However, it generates only 30% of what China can produce.
When it comes to solar energy penetration, though, there is a very different picture. The biggest solar power producers are China, the USA, and Japan, followed by Germany and India.
But, the countries with the best solar penetration are as follows:
- Australia 15.5%
- Spain 14.2%
- Greece 13.6%
- Honduras 12.9%
- Netherlands 11.8%
Of the biggest solar energy generating countries, only Germany and Japan make the top ten for solar power penetration.
Why don’t more homes have solar panels installed?
There are a number of myths, truths, half-truths, and beliefs surrounding solar power and other green energy sources. Many of these have severely affected homeowners deciding to install or avoid solar panels.
The cost of solar panels
One of the biggest concerns surrounding solar panel installation is the cost. Yet, solar PV cells have dropped prices by 99% since 1977. This isn’t to say that installing solar panels is cheap, but there is a profitable return.
Another reason many people have avoided solar panels is the belief that there is little ROI to be seen. Understanding how much solar is needed to power a home and how much electricity is saved can help to see the potential ROI. On average, it can take 10 to 13 years for solar panels to recoup the initial outlay, but they can last 25 years or more.
Solar panels look ugly
Some people simply don’t want to install solar panels on their homes. Partly this is to do with the bulky, unsightly original PV panels from previous years. Modern solar panels are thinner and more efficient – meaning fewer of them may be needed.
Not enough sunshine
Clearly, some countries and regions will benefit from more sun than others. Yet, nearly every country in the world can produce enough solar energy to power its nation’s homes. Find and talk to solar panel installers near you, and you will discover how much energy you could be generating from the sun.
Should more homeowners install solar panels?
With climate change, environmental concerns, and limited fossil fuels, it is clear that green energy matters.
Installing solar panels means a step in the right direction as far as lowering the use of fossil fuels is concerned, but it will also mean reduced utility bills, and perhaps a higher valuation for applicable homes.
It seems that wind farms impact home valuations, but solar panels can push house prices up. Homes with solar panels sell for approximately 4% more than those without.
House buyers put energy efficiency and green credentials high up on the list when looking for a home. Having solar panels installed can be a selling point and increase the price of the home.
Video: Solar Panel Growth in 2023
Final Thoughts On Why Don’t More Homes Have Solar Panels Installed?
While solar power is becoming more popular, there is still a long way to go before most homes have these panels installed. With tax incentives in place, and falling prices, though, solar could be the norm in perhaps a couple more decades.
The benefits to the environment are clear, as are the cost savings, so it is likely that while perhaps not everyone will turn to solar, there should be a spike in installations in the next few years.