Perhaps the most interesting statistic about the present-day solar industry lies in the fact that in the United States in 2016, there were more people employed in the solar energy industry than in fossil fuels, wind and nuclear energy combined. This alone is more than a reliable indicator that this is an industry on the rise and, as such, might be a major point of interest for ambitious entrepreneurs as well. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips for entering the solar power industry that you might want to hear about.
Increase potential of the industry
One of the reasons why the solar power industry is so attractive to newcomers is due to the fact that it’s a growing industry and, as such, incredibly welcoming towards newcomers. The main reason for this, however, lies in the fact that there’s a higher demand for this industry than ever before. First of all, the number of solar panels in the U.S in 2002 was 115,000, while in 2010, it was as much as 2,830,000. Other than this, there are some surveys which suggest that if a person installs panels, all of their neighbors are twice as likely to do the same, which is why new potential areas of business are spawning all over the country at a staggering rate.
Starting a business
Another thing you should bear in mind when starting out in this industry is the fact that this industry has more to offer than just the installation of solar panels. You see, there are many different types of solar businesses and you can choose to sell solar equipment, install it, provide service and maintenance or merely distribute these products. Still, since this is a business in the energy industry, you’ll need to acquire the necessary licenses and certification, establish a business entity (which includes getting a tax number) and become an expert within your niche. Naturally, getting all the necessary insurances for this industry is also highly recommended.
Getting the necessary equipment
Depending on the type of work that you do, you’ll need a different inventory. The equipment for setting up solar panels isn’t all that you need, seeing as how some of the work that needs to be performed takes place on great heights. Therefore, you might also need a lot of construction equipment, even specialised items like portable scaffolding in order to act as a steady work platform for panel setup. Other than this, you need to find a reliable supplier, seeing as how once the work gets going, you’ll need these supplies in a bulk.
Finding an adequate workforce
Keep in mind that the solar panel industry isn’t to be underestimated and, due to the fact that it requires a higher level of technical prowess, an adequate workforce might be somewhat harder to come by. On the other hand, due to the fact that it’s a growing, environmental and tech-related industry, it’s far more attractive to millennials than the above-mentioned construction industry. Also, keep in mind that as the percentage of millennials grows amongst the total workforce, this will keep becoming a bigger and bigger factor.
Another thing that you need to understand is the fact that innovation comes at a far greater pace than in some other industries. Batteries are getting better and solar panels are no longer the only method for homeowners to harvest the power of the sun. Solar tiles are shingle-like products that can be installed on one’s roof instead of regular shingles and can be incredibly hard to distinguish. This makes up for one of the biggest shortcomings of traditional roof panels (not being visually pleasing enough). Needless to say, this might make this idea, overall, more appealing to the general audience.
Safety is the top priority
As opposed to popular belief, solar panels are completely safe for handling when not hooked to the grid, yet, you need to keep in mind two major hazard factors. First, the majority of work involved takes place on great heights (roof of the building). Second, the work itself involves dangerous tools and the installation process is far from simple. This is why an investment in employee training, proper PPE and some necessary safety measures are a top priority.
You need a decent marketing
In one of the previous sections, we briefly mentioned the fact that seeing your panels on the roof of neighbors might be the most effective marketing method you’ll ever meet. Sadly, on its own, it’s really not enough. You see, these solar panel pioneers aren’t so easy to persuade, especially due to the fact that the installation of a solar panel is a long-term commitment. Usually, it takes between 6 and 9 years for this investment to pay itself off but there are some scenarios where it might take up to 20 years. This is why you need outstanding marketing on your side.
In the end, this is definitely an industry worth considering and even though the competitiveness might increase in the nearest future, the demand is quite high, as well. The future in this field is, indeed, bright and joining the industry as soon as possible might just be the best course of action for those who are interested.