Like most sectors, the solar industry is rapidly embracing ways to analyze and crunch data in order to lower the cost of solar energy and to open up new markets for their technology. The rise of data tools--algorithms, machine learning, sensors--are driving investments in, and acquisitions of, solar startups, while entrepreneurs are launching new companies that are using data to solve various solar industry problems. Meanwhile, big companies are spending money on tracking, monitoring and evaluating data from solar projects worldwide, helping to lower the cost of generating energy from the sun. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the solar sector is the latest to embrace the value of data. Other traditionally non-digital sectors, like the auto industry, oil and gas, and agriculture are turning to managing data as a necessity to keep their technology competitive and their companies in business.
Just how much is the average consumer interested in solar power? Tesla is about to find out, as it is bringing photovoltaic panels and Powerwall batteries to US retail giant Home Depot, Bloomberg reports. Elon Musk's company will install Tesla-branded selling spaces at 800 locations, with its own employees on hand to explain the benefits. Later on, sources say it may also bring the much-anticipated solar roof, which generates electricity but looks and costs like a regular (high-end) roof.
Solar panel installations have fallen by 80 per cent, following a massive cut in Government subsidies. Families across the country have turned their back on solar energy, which saw thousands a week install panels on their roofs to cut their energy bills and sell power back to the National Grid. It comes after the Conservative government cut the tariffs providing cashback for households by 65 per cent last year. Solar panel installations have fallen by 80 per cent, following cuts in Government subsidies. Solar power had been hailed by Energy Secretary Greg Clark for creating'mini power-stations' in family homes and businesses.
On Monday, the Trump administration slapped new tariffs on solar-panel imports that could increase the costs of buying solar equipment made abroad by as much as 30 percent. The idea is to bolster U.S. manufacturers and give them more potential to grow and add jobs, but in reality, this is a myopic strategy that fails to really consider what the solar-energy industry is and how it grew so fast.