Solar Panels Go More Mainstream While Capacity Grows And New Technologies Improve To Reduce Cost

As technology for solar panels continues to improve, the price of solar panels has gone down about 80 percent, making the price more affordable for anyone who wants to install them and cut their electric bills. Capacity of the panels continues to increase, making it a more viable form of energy.

Tech Times reported that the capacity of solar panels is expected to grow by 10 times over the next seven years. With the increased demand for energy because of population growth, the sun is a natural choice for energy because it's renewable and environmentally friendly.

Dan Whitten, the vice president of communications at the Solar Energy Industries Association, said that the expected growth will be even higher.

"By the end of 2020, the amount of installed solar capacity will be 300 percent higher than today. Nationwide, it grew 10 times between 2008 and 2015."

So far, the biggest problem the solar panel industry has had in getting solar panels to go mainstream is the cost of producing solar panels. Compared to the cost of fossil fuels, it has been both time-consuming and very expensive to install solar panels. The price of these panels outweighed the cost of fossil fuels, and so it wasn't worthwhile before now to install them. Since the price has gone down considerably in the last few years, it has become more practical to use them.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the technology of solar panels has grown, and now scientists in China are working on ways to make it practical to use solar panels in areas where there is a lot of rain and less sun. Scientists in China are currently working on a prototype for a solar panel that captures rain and uses the energy to create power. No word has been given on when the new technology will be available, and it looks promising as a viable way to offer solar technology in areas where there is less sun.

The Washington City Paper reported that Washington, D.C., will be adding solar panels to public housing buildings. Currently, the Housing Authority is planning to add the solar panels to the buildings at nine different properties. The company Solar City will be performing the work to install the solar panels on the buildings. It will provide tax credits as well as job training for Housing Authority clients. The installations are planned to begin in May, although the Housing Authority said that the list of properties involved may change.

The savings from using the solar panels will be invested back into the properties. The board for the Housing Authority recently approved $100 million to build a heating and cooling plant. In a press release sent out by the Housing Authority, they said that the money would also be used to improve 44 properties and produce power to the properties.

"The power plant will build a microgrid that produces enough power to produce 100 percent of the electricity at the Langston Terrace and as much as 15 percent of the electricity at DCHA's remaining properties, based on feasibility studies."

Other cities are getting on board with using solar panels to produce energy using solar power. San Francisco recently passed legislation stating that any future buildings built in the city that are under 10 stories will have to have rooftop solar panels installed. Although other small cities in California are enacting similar legislation, San Francisco is the first major city to enact such legislation.

[Image via Pixabay]