Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Not from a real nightmare, just worrying about external issues affecting the solar and storage industry. We jokingly refer to our industry as the “solar coaster,” characterized by unexpected ups and downs.
The ups are typically expected events — things for which we can usually plan in advance, such as changes to tax credits and incentives, continued unreliability of the electric grid, and increases in electricity costs.
The things we can’t plan for are the solar coaster downs. These are usually unexpected events, coming at us from left field. Over the past 20 years we have managed through the Y2K non-crisis, the silicon shortage in 2004, the housing crisis and recession in 2007, solar tariffs in 2012, and of course the Covid pandemic in 2020-2021.
My biggest nightmare right now relates to PG&E and other utilities trying to kill rooftop solar and storage so they can continue to sell their overpriced, unreliable and profitable electricity. We’re also navigating through a dire shortage of high quality storage batteries, challenges with maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, and keeping our employees safe when they work on rooftops.
For my take on the challenges facing solar and storage contractors, please tune in to this week’s Energy Show.