Exciting Technologies Transforming Solar Energy As We Know It

Over the past four decades, the use of solar energy in the USA has increased exponentially. In 2018, an extra 10.6 GW of solar energy was successfully added to the grid, increasing the nation’s total solar usage to 64.2 GW. While this is a notable increase, solar energy use still only accounts for a meager 1.6% of the country’s overall electricity consumption. Thankfully, there is a host of exciting new solar technologies either already on the market or in the pipeline that will not only give solar energy production a boost, but change the way we think about solar energy as well.
Floating solar farms don’t rely on land
One of the greatest solar energy advances of the past decade and a half has come in the form of floating solar farms. Although the first commercial floating photovoltaic panels were used in Japan in 2007, it is in more recent times that the full potential of these floating solar farms have been uncovered. As silicon panels become more economical, dams, reservoirs, and other bodies of water are being turned into energy-producing hotspots. Apart from producing solar energy, the floating panels also reduce the amount of water evaporation and decrease algae growth considerably too.  
Solar skins offer full customization
As an increasing number of homeowners are starting to embrace the benefits of a solar installation, more options are being developed. In addition to Spanish tile installation, standing seam metal solar panels, flat roof panels, and ground-mounted panels, customers can now also opt for a completely customizable solar panel experience, thanks to solar skins. The novel PV technology, which is manufactured by Sistene, can be used to match everything from the green grass surrounding your home to your actual rooftop. It also holds great potential for commercial entities, as it will allow them to display anything from a business logo to a full-blown advertisement on a rooftop.
Solar fabric can change the future
While solar energy generation at fixed locations has been utilized for quite some time, we may soon be able to generate energy wherever we go, thanks to solar fabric. The researchers developing the fabric are aiming to create solar filaments that can be embedded in the fabric used to make anything from t-shirts and caps to winter coats and even shoes. The energy produced can be used to generate heat to keep you warmer, charge your phone on-the-go and reheat your coffee. Solar fabric can also be used to make energy-generating curtains that can reduce grid-consumption considerably.
Solar energy may not be a new concept, but it is definitely a constantly-evolving one. Judging by the array of technologies available, the future of solar power is very exciting indeed. 

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