Right now, one of the trending product categories in electronics is solar power – products from a number of solar power-related suppliers are high in the GlobalSources.com charts both overall and in the newest releases.
What’s driving this demand? Anthony Masotto of One-Pull Wire and Cable Solutions identifies two important factors. First, prices are falling as demand rises for the lithium-ion batteries used for solar storage. “A challenge in the early days of solar energy was that it is an intermittent energy source. If the sun isn’t shining, no juice,” Masotto writes. “Batteries that store surplus solar energy to fill these gaps have been improving over the years, with lithium-ion batteries being some of the most advanced available. But until recently batteries were prohibitively expensive for many projects. The average price of lithium-ion batteries for solar storage has fallen 35% since 2018 alone. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, and it’s great news for the solar power industry.”
The second factor: smart device and IoT adoption is enabling wider use of microgrids, localized systems of electricity sources, loads, and storage. Microgrids can be connected to national electrical grid systems or be totally self-contained.
Smart devices provide two main advantages to microgrids. Power consumption and distribution is handled better due to user self-regulation. And they enable total grid management, rather than relying on a national grid system. Smart devices are also increasingly user-friendly, reducing the skill barrier for managing grid systems.