July 7, 2023

The Rise of Solar Energy Industry and EV Charging Stations

6 Min. Read

With a growing consciousness of the environmental impact of our actions, cleaner energy and transportation have taken center stage. Among the rapidly evolving technologies in these domains, solar energy, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have emerged as key players.

Although not immediately apparent, the connection between these two fields is becoming increasingly important with the emergence of solar EV charger solutions. Recognizing the potential of merging the latest trends in the solar energy industry and EV charging station technology, society is embracing the power of this dynamic combination.

In this article, we’ll cover the top trends in solar and electric to give you a comprehensive understanding of the technology, how it’s developing, and why the shift in how we create and consume electric energy matters for the grid, companies, and homeowners alike.

Solar Energy Industry Trends

The solar energy industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years thanks to several trends that have helped make solar one of the most affordable energy sources worldwide. Two significant factors driving this growth include declining component costs and the shift towards local manufacturing and distributed energy. With solar energy becoming increasingly accessible and efficient, more people are turning to this renewable energy source as a viable alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

Component Cost Declines

One of the main movements in the solar energy industry is the decline in component costs.

The cost of solar panels, inverters, and other components has dropped significantly recently, making solar energy more accessible and affordable to consumers. The decline in the cost of these technologies and their associated components can be attributed to several factors, including technological advances, manufacturing processes, economies of scale, and the availability of new materials. This trend will continue as new manufacturing techniques are developed, innovation continues to drive advancements in technology, and economies of scale are achieved.

Additionally, shipping costs are declining in 2023 and have already reached pre-pandemic levels. Although shipping costs continue to decline, lower overall capital expenditures for renewable energy projects may take time to notice. These savings may take more time to translate into lower overall project costs, but their benefits are already being realized.

Local Manufacturing and Distributed Energy

Another trend in the solar industry is the shift towards more localized manufacturing and distribution of energy.

This shift means that American-made solar panels and other components are manufactured closer to where they will be installed, reducing transportation costs and making the process more efficient. For instance, the Investing in America agenda provides further investment to support this transition.

Distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar panels, allow consumers to generate energy and reduce their reliance on the grid. This is taking off particularly in the United States and Europe for solar and energy storage, further reducing dependence on imported gas. Renewable energy has already become an essential part of energy supply strategies.

Solar EV Charger Solutions

As society increasingly focuses on transitioning to cleaner energy and transportation, the combination of solar energy and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is gaining momentum. There is a growing solar EV charging market in the solar energy industry.

Combining solar energy, EV charging technology, and battery storage can also allow for more significant deployment of charging stations in off-grid locations.

Growing Solar EV Charging Market

The increasing market for solar EV charging is a prominent trend currently being driven by the growing adoption of electric vehicles. However, it’s crucial to delve deeper and explore the underlying factors that contribute to this trend.

This is where solar energy storage comes in. By installing solar panels and battery storage alongside EV charging stations, it is possible to provide charging capabilities where the grid may not otherwise be able to support it. Additionally, bidirectional charging technology, which allows batteries to discharge their energy back into the grid, can provide a way to store excess solar energy during the day and use it to charge EVs, homes, and even businesses at night.

With bidirectional charging and battery storage, EV batteries can receive energy from the grid and discharge it back into the grid, essentially using EVs as a mobile energy storage system that can feed excess electricity into the grid during high demand. This ability helps stabilize the grid and avoid blackouts while providing an additional revenue stream for EV owners.

Additionally, bidirectional charging can help reduce EV ownership costs by allowing owners to sell excess energy back to the grid or use it to power their homes during peak hours when electricity prices are higher.

Combining Technology Allows for Greater EV Deployment

Another benefit of combining solar energy and EV charging stations is the ability to deploy charging stations in remote or off-grid locations. By using solar panels and battery storage, it is possible to create self-contained EV charging stations that do not rely on the grid for power. This feature is especially helpful in rural areas or outdoor locations where grid access is limited.

In addition to providing power to EV charging stations in remote areas, battery storage can also help to balance the intermittent nature of solar energy. Solar panels produce energy only when the sun is shining, which must be used immediately or stored for later use.

By incorporating battery storage into the system, excess energy generated during the day can be stored and used to power EV charging stations at night or during periods of low sunlight. This makes the system more reliable and helps reduce demand on the grid during peak usage times.

Using battery storage in conjunction with solar energy and EV charging stations to create microgrids and nanogrids is essential in the transition toward a more sustainable and resilient energy system.

EV Charging with Nanogrids and Microgrids

Nanogrids and microgrids offer a tailored solution for utilities aiming to integrate electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure into their grid operations. These small-scale power systems can function independently or in conjunction with the primary grid while incorporating renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro to generate power.

By integrating EV charging stations with nanogrids and microgrids, utilities can establish reliable and sustainable energy sources designed explicitly for EV charging. This proves especially beneficial in regions where the primary grid is prone to unreliable or limited access.

Furthermore, nanogrids and microgrids can be configured to include battery storage, ensuring a backup power supply for EV charging stations during power outages or when renewable energy production is low. This capability enhances reliability and helps maintain uninterrupted charging services.

The combination of nanogrids and microgrids with EV charging stations offers utilities a flexible, resilient, and sustainable solution to address the increasing demand for EV charging. By leveraging renewable energy sources and incorporating energy storage, utilities can support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles while also enhancing grid stability and minimizing reliance on traditional power sources.

The Way Forward

As we move towards a cleaner and more sustainable future, staying informed about the latest advancements in these fields is essential. Embrace the connection between solar energy and EV charging stations to optimize your energy infrastructure, enhance grid reliability, and foster the widespread adoption of electric vehicles for a sustainable future.

By combining solar energy and EV charging stations, we can offer greater flexibility, resilience, and sustainability to our energy and transportation systems. Consider the benefits of bidirectional charging, battery storage, and microgrids when making decisions.

As the leading partner in electrification technology for homeowners, businesses, and utilities in North America, Qmerit can help you navigate the intricacies of joining the energy transition and implementing renewable energy into the grid.

Contact Qmerit today to begin planning your electrification transition.

Author: Tom Bowen Tom Bowen President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification