With an increasing global focus on environmental friendliness and climate change, solar power is more in demand than ever. Last year, the number of solar projects in the United States nearly doubled, representing dozens of gigawatts in power across the nation. Building contractors in Williamsburg, VA and beyond are now turning to solar power in their home designs, while solar continues to expand into industries like agriculture. Here are some of the most recent solar trends we’ve been seeing:
- Reduced federal tax credit: 2020 marks a reduction in the federal income tax incentive for solar energy, which offered a credit to homeowners who installed and used solar panels in their homes. The federal credit still exists (many states offer them as well), but it’s not as robust as it once was.
- Floating solar panel systems: Floating solar panels are exactly what they sound like: solar panels that can be placed in bodies of water. That means that places like wastewater treatment plants and reservoirs can now utilize that space to create more solar energy. Typically, these are suitable for commercial and industrial spaces, rather than residential, but they exemplify the trend that has the country moving toward alternative energy sources.
- Bifacial solar panels: Bifacial solar panels can collect sun from both sides of the panel, including light that bounces off the ground, allowing them to capture and produce even more energy than previous systems allowed. In fact, these panels can produce up to 30 percent more solar power than traditional solar panels. This type of solar installation is best on large carports and ground-mounted systems.
- Agriculture and solar power: Installing solar panels on farmland actually increases a farmer’s yield, making it an exciting time for the agricultural industry. The panels can provide shade for crops and livestock that need it, all while generating electricity that can offset costs for farmers.
- Tesla and solar power: Tesla, which has been pioneering innovations in several different industries, has been in the solar business for a while now. On the positive side, their solar panel rental program for homeowners allows more homes to use solar power—instead of paying solar costs up front, which can be prohibitively expensive for some, homeowners simply pay a monthly rental fee. They also have a commercial option that allows owners to purchase the solar electricity that their units produce. However, Walmart is currently suing Tesla, accusing their panels of starting fires on some store roofs.
One thing is clear: solar energy shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As companies like Tesla continue to bring prices down, we can look forward to greener buildings in the future.
Building contractors in Williamsburg, VA
Healthy Communities is an environmentally-focused building contractor in Williamsburg, VA. We work with home buyers to design and build green homes that are beautiful, energy-efficient and perfectly tailored to their individual desires. If you’re in the market for a custom home that has a minimal impact on the environment, let our talented team turn it into a reality. Call us today to get started.