Every quarter, our ConveYour team assembles a newsletter digest of the biggest news, trends, and developments in the world of residential solar. This newsletter is sent out to our subscribers before it gets posted on the site.
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Off The Top
The very first annual SolarCon was held in Salt Lake City this April. Solar companies featured at the three-day event included Titan Solar Power, Solar Edge, Sunnova, and LGCY Power among many others.
Solar provider SunModo named a new chief executive officer this June. Steve Mumma has been appointed to the role.
CNET has released its guide for the Best Solar Companies of 2022. This ranking will be continually updated as they draft reviews for new companies, but currently features names like ADT Solar, Trinity Solar, and SunRun.
Duke Energy has introduced their Clean Energy Connection subscription plan, allowing residential-based customers to invest in a portion of large-sale solar savings.
SunPower and IKEA announced a partnership which will allow IKEA to sell solar panels out of its retail locations, launching in Fall 2022.
Stormy Season Ahead for Solar?
It just wouldn’t feel right going deep into any other solar industry news without addressing the elephant in the room: The economy looks a whole lot different than it did when we last spoke at the end of Q1. Whispers of recession have grown louder and louder over the span of a couple of months. While nobody knows the future and time will tell if these worries are justified, the uncertainty is real for now and we are all feeling the impact.
Let’s get the worst of this news out of the way early. The supply chain issues that we are all-too familiar with continue to drive up material costs and project lead times across the industry. Specific to solar, there is also the matter of the Department of Commerce investigation of solar imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries supply nearly 80% of solar panels used in the US currently. While a final determination by the DoC won’t be made for another year, an uncertain future is impacting the supply and price of materials.
Compounding with these supply problems is the larger economic landscape. The Federal Reserve is expected to continue to raise interest rates for the near future - posing a relatively new challenge for renewables of all kinds. Solar businesses whose revenue largely relies on their customers’ ability to get loans are bracing to feel the impact of this decision on their bottom line.
While we’re breaking the bad news, utility companies in certain states like California, Florida, and Mississippi are flexing their muscle as they push back against solar efforts.
These Cloudy Skies Have A Silver Lining
There’s no denying that there are lots of new challenges presenting themselves. However, there is of course plenty of good news to report as well, and solar and renewables remain fantastic assets in the long run that are still worth getting excited about.
Recently, Allied Market Research published a report on the global rooftop solar market, forecasting year-over-year growth through the next decade. Global revenues, which were estimated at $45.9 billion in 2020, are predicted to reach as high as $84.2 billion by 2030.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of the problems felt by solar on the larger scale aren’t necessarily fully impacting the world of residential solar, at least not yet. While Q1 of 2022 did see some scary contraction in solar as a whole, residential solar specifically continued to grow 30% year-over-year. PV Magazine posits that residential customers will continue to flock to solar as a savings strategy in the face of rising utility costs nationwide.
This June, the Biden administration made two moves to boost solar panel production during these difficult times. First and most notably, they announced a 24-month tariff exemption from on solar modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These are the same countries whose production has been hampered by the Department of Commerce investigation mentioned above, and is a big step towards restoring that supply chain. Additionally, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to boost solar manufacturing domestically, though this is expected to have only minor impact as US labor costs are still much higher than other countries’.
New England - Achieving Climate Goals Through Solar
New England isn’t exactly the first region that comes to mind when you think of a “solar powerhouse,” but maybe it should be. Despite not being the sunniest part of the nation, they are making impressive progress towards its lofty goals around climate and renewable energy, and solar is definitely leading the way.
Five of the six states in the region have passed resolutions to reduce emissions by at least 80%, but most of the projects concerning renewables have been shot down or delayed significantly. However, high adoption rates of residential solar have largely kept New England on pace towards its climate goals, even with local and state governments largely unable to produce their own utility-scale renewable projects.
As with the industry at large, solar development is only set to expand over the coming years, with ISO New England predicting a near 150% raise in New England’s megawatt capacity by 2031. Already, the area’s solar capacity is generating more electricity than its two remaining nuclear power plants. Leading the region is Massachusetts, a state known for its incentives to property owners who embrace solar. In fact, about two-thirds of New England’s solar installations are happening in MA.
Leading solar providers in the region include Solar Store Greenfield, NEC Solar, Insight Solar, and Trinity Solar.
“It isn’t just keeping the lights on. It is keeping the heat pumps going and the cars charged.”
- Dan Dolan, New England Power Generators Association.
Solar Industry Company Spotlight: Kayo Energy
The subject for today’s Solar Industry Spotlight is a friend of ConveYour, Kayo Energy. Founded in 2019 and based out of Tempe, Arizona, Kayo Energy is in the midst of a period of explosive growth. In just a few short years, Kayo has gone from getting its footing in the industry to one of the dominant solar companies in the entire southwest. In fact, just this year Inc. named Kayo Energy the fourth fastest-growing private company in the region, the highest-ranking solar business on the list. Last year, CEO Aaron Weymann was named to the “Forbes Next 1000” list, a showcase of up-and-coming entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing the American dream.
Kayo is always looking for ways to spread the love, too. They are partnered with the GivePower Foundation to donate a portion of every purchase to underserved communities around the world.
“I attribute our resiliency to the motivation we all receive in being engaged in such meaningful work. The social impact nature of providing people access to clean and affordable energy has been a source of enduring motivation.”
- Aaron Weymann, CEO, Kayo Energy.
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