Wow - this is the first issue of volume ten of this newsletter! When we started writing these monthly blurbs back in 2010, we had no idea where the solar industry would go and where we would be within it!
Here are some quick observations, in no particular order:
RoS logo circa 2010
- Certainly the industry has matured: rebates are a thing of the past, and while the federal tax credit is still around, this is the last year of the full 30% unless Washington gets its act together and extends it, and how likely is that?
- We have seen more than our fair share of bad actors and what we like to call "Shortcut Solar" — folks that either don't know enough, or care enough, to do things right. The industry is starting to respond, and a new, one page disclosure document is now a required part of every solar contract in California. It doesn't go far enough, but it's a start.
- Litigation is on the rise and Founder & CEO Jim Jenal has worked as an expert witness on three cases in the last 18 months. Sadly, this seems to be a necessary thing until we do better with point number 2!
- The hope of a Feed-in Tariff as a means of growing solar really hasn't panned out anywhere, except in LADWP territory, but there the program was dominated by large players. Other places, like Glendale that designed its program to fail, never got a single applicant. Pasadena never even launched a program.
- Storage is still a wait and see proposition, with equipment being too expensive to pencil out. The SGIP incentive program was extended, but it remains a nightmare of bureaucracy that largely keeps small companies out of the program.
- Software-as-a-Service has become an extremely important part of the industry, with vendors like Energy Toolbase providing cutting edge solutions to project modeling and economic analysis.
- The problem of orphaned and/or legacy systems is growing. As systems installed back when this newsletter began, start to age, the need for maintenance grows. Often the company that installed the system is no longer around. Equally often, compatible equipment from a decade (or longer) ago is hard to find.
- EVs are becoming more and more common, and with them greater electricity use. A very significant percentage of our clients today have, or will have soon, an EV.
- Solar roofing tiles were a bad idea in 2012, and they are still a bad idea in 2019!
- Run on Sun has the smartest, kindest, and all around most attractive clients in the solar industry! We are in awe of you all!
So that's it, ten thoughts for ten years. Thanks for being a part of this journey!