This era of digitalization offers immense opportunities and many industries are adapting to the new tech trends. The question then arises for solar companies. How can solar companies make the most of these opportunities in digitization? How can digitization be a driver for more and more solar deployments and how can these digital trends help create new solar business models?
- The advent of technologies such as big data analytics, internet of things and robotics as well as blockchain will definitely influence the emergence of new solar business models while offering improvements to existing models to make them more profitable.
- The rise of smart buildings and smart building technologies has been a major driver in boosting customer savings. Looking ahead, solar is likely to be sold as a core part of smart building package including energy management systems, storage, charging of smart appliances etc. The drive to self consume solar electricity is also a driver for smart technology.
- Further, smart, automated building appliances such as fridges, tumble dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, motion sensor lighting, and blinds – all of these devices can be powered by solar generation and can be remotely controlled and can communicate with each other.
- Heat pumps, heat storage batteries, and air conditioning units can be optimized with solar generation and be a way of using excess solar electricity as heat.
- ‘Smart’ meter data can also be used to identify the customers that are likeliest to have the highest self-consumption rates.
- Smart learning thermostats that are internet connected can be combined with electric heating or cooling and hence save energy.
- The new smart energy management systems provide monitoring that is enabled with wireless communications and advanced data analytics along with the Internet of Things.
- Smart elective vehicle charging in car parks is a new technology trend that promotes ‘drive on sunshine’ solutions that significantly boost customer savings. Battery storage is a mutually reinforcing technology when combined with PV. Residential storage can increase solar PV self-consumption rates from approximately 30% to 70% with added system benefits of reducing network and system costs.
As more and more solar companies adopt the technology, customers will definitely see significant savings. Technology has definitely not only touched but completely revolutionized solar energy usage and consumption in a way that benefits all in the near future.