After another trip around the sun, 2019 was a breakthrough year for solar energy. California reach the one million mark for number of solar roof installed, and the amount of U.S. solar projects nearly doubling. Additionally, almost 3 gigawatts of solar were installed in the third quarter of 2019 alone.
Today, we’re here to review some of the amazing moments 2019 brought solar energy. We’ll take a look at some of the amazing solar technology trends that we hope to bring into this next decade.
Floating Solar Panels
In 2019 we saw an increase in floating solar installations, with some of them even breaking new records. What are floating solar systems exactly? Also known as ‘floatovoltaics’, these are floating structures that are made up of solar panels and installed in bodies of water. In other words, floating solar panels enable solar energy to be in places it typically wouldn’t. Thanks to floating solar installations, things like retention ponds and wastewater holding areas can now be used to create solar power. This past October, the largest floating solar array in the United States was installed in New Jersey.
Solar Finds Its Way to More Agricultural Land
The year 2019 proved that solar panels not only produce more power on farmland, but may also help increase a farmer’s crop yield. Many farmers’ crops such as tomatoes, lettuce and corn have proven to grow better when they have shade, which is what solar panels provide. 2019 showed that if you have solar panels on your farm, you have the potential to produce more crops than a traditional farm would.
Bifacial Solar Panels Rise in Popularity
In 2019, bifacial solar panels really started getting noticed. Bifacial solar panels are panels that have modules that have photovoltaic cells on both sides of each individual panel, meaning that both sides can collect energy from the sun and transform it into electricity. By the end of 2019 around 5,420 MW of bifacial solar panel systems were installed, which is almost double the amount of what was installed in the year 2018.
As we’ve shown, 2019 was a big, and successful year for the solar power industry. We expect for installations to continue to increase, for solar to get a little bit cheaper and the solar industry will only continue to advance. We hope 2020 is just as good!