A lot of people think we’ll see solar power take off again by 2020.
But even if that happens, it’s not likely to be a free lunch for consumers.
The $10 trillion market in solar panels is likely to shrink to around $7 trillion by 2020, and that’s not counting solar’s impact on other industries, like wind.
That leaves the industry with a big task to rebuild.
That’s why Bloomberg’s Mark Zandi has compiled a list of the five most important sectors of the solar energy market to watch.
Grid infrastructure The most crucial sectors of grid infrastructure are grid-scale solar panels and solar thermal.
Solar thermal, or “solar thermal,” is the term for solar thermal panels, which convert the heat of sunlight into electricity by using a cooling device to cool the sun.
Grid-scale panels make up about 10% of all panels in use.
But the demand for grid-wide solar thermal has been growing rapidly.
The U.S. solar market was worth $1.1 trillion in 2016, and is projected to hit $7.7 trillion in 2020.
Power generation This market includes everything from coal to natural gas to wind power, including hydroelectric power.
The most important sector is wind, which is responsible for about 50% of U.A.E. power generation.
The wind energy market has grown rapidly in recent years.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory forecasts that it will be worth $7 billion in 2020, up from $4 billion in 2017.
Power storage This market is comprised of both power grid and power substation, which are also made up of solar panels.
In 2016, power grid was worth about $4.5 trillion, and was expected to reach $10.5 billion by 2020.(Source: National Renewed Energy Laboratory, 2017) 4.
Transportation A major industry for solar, the transportation sector accounts for roughly 40% of the U. S. solar energy growth in the last decade.
Solar panels and battery storage are big players here, and the market is forecast to be worth nearly $10 billion in 2018.
Energy storage A market for energy storage, like solar, is a big one.
The market has been getting bigger and bigger in recent decades, and Bloomberg’s Zandi estimates that it could grow to $10 to $15 trillion by the end of the decade.
A growing market will be a boon for utilities, who will be able to more quickly and cheaply install solar power on their grid.
And a declining market will mean utilities will have less room to invest in solar and wind power.