There are more and more PV installations on roofs. The increasing popularity of captive power generation is bringing newer, more efficient technologies and materials to the market. This is in response to, among other things, the changing billing system and customer expectations.

One strong impetus for change was the prosumer billing system introduced in the spring – from the previous discounts, i.e. the possibility of taking back part of the energy produced by the solar panels and fed into the grid, to net-billing, which is the sale of electricity to the distributor at wholesale prices.

– The changes that are taking place in the PV industry are generally a reaction to the market situation. Domestic energy storage is growing in popularity as discharging energy into the grid is no longer as beneficial as before, and it is becoming more cost-effective to keep it in-house. This leads to behavioral changes, greater awareness and self-consumption,” explains Ernest Grodner, Ph.D., creator of ScanTheSun and an online PV design application.

Currently, prosumers account for the largest share of PV power generation. It is estimated that by the end of the year, the total capacity of micro-installations could reach around 10 GW. In addition to individual generators, the business segment and PV farms, geared towards contracting supply to the grid through RES auctions, will play an increasingly important role in the near future.

Technological changes are also taking place in the PV market all the time. 

– The efficiency of the panels is gradually increasing. Such standard panel used to have 15-16 per cent efficiency, while today it is already 18-20 per cent. New materials are also emerging, such as perovskites – explains Dr Ernest Grodner.

Increasing efficiency is leading to energy production becoming cheaper and cheaper. In addition, the new systems make it possible to generate heat at the same time. The longevity of the panels is increased and the used ones are not useless waste, but can be recycled.

According to estimates by the International Renewable Energy Agency, there will be 60-80 million tons of panels to be recycled in Europe by 2050, and more than 100,000 tons in Poland in the coming years. Used installations are a valuable source of glass and metal. This is why, among other things, large panel manufacturers recycle panels at the same time and thus obtain a valuable raw material.

Anyone considering installing PV at their home or thinking about optimizing their existing system can use the free ScanTheSun app. It is a simple tool that enables the development of a PV installation project independently and quickly. The solution is based on proven and effective scientific methods and measurement data obtained from smartphone sensors. When calculated with it, the placement and positioning of the panels can increase their efficiency by up to 35%.