All a person needs to do is look at the wide range of news online to understand that solar energy is far more than a passing fad. However, as beneficial and as long-standing as renewable energy is, there are many hurdles that still need to be overcome in order for this type of energy to be more widely used. One issue is with inversion and the other issue is with battery technology. Fortunately, there are advances on both fronts that could lead to more efficient solar power systems.
The first problem is with inversion. When a solar panel collects energy from the sun, it does so at a DC current. However, in order for that power to be properly used by a home or business, it needs to be converted into an AC current. While this process is fairly simple, it is far from efficient. It is estimated that anywhere from one-third to half of the power that is generated by a solar power system is lost in the inversion process. There are recent advancements in this process that help minimize the amount of power that is lost when power is converted from DC to AC.
Another significant issue is battery technology. One of the biggest hindrances to solar power being used is the occasional cloudy day and the overnight hours. Fortunately, more robust solar power systems can capture and create significant amounts of energy during a sunny day that could power a house, potentially for many days. The problem is storing that power. Since battery technology is well behind advancements in solar power efficiency, it makes it difficult for an owner of a solar power system to afford enough batteries necessary to store this power. Once again, much like the inversion process, there are continuing advances to help make storage batteries for solar power systems more efficient and less expensive.
From a standpoint of investment, it is clear that advances in inversion and battery technology will need to have the right type of funding. Even though there have been breakthroughs, there is still much work to be done. For this reason, many energy sector investors are looking directly at renewable energy and the technologies that make that renewable energy more efficient and more affordable. These are great opportunities for future returns on investment.