The solar energy business segment is one of the true survivors of the past two generations. Since the early 1970s, solar panel arrays have offered a viable way for consumers and commercial enterprises to generate electricity. At first, the market was small because it took years for even the lowest priced arrays to pay for themselves. Nowadays, after a half-century of scientific advances, homes and businesses all over the world are equipped with panels on their rooftops, yards, tool sheds, and other structures that receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours each day.
The industry has spawned dozens of offshoots that include service providers in manufacturing, installation, inspection, and more. Why is the current decade a good time to start a solar company? In addition to easy access to capital, there are many niches and business models, consumer and industry demand continues to grow, and prices for individual panels have never been more affordable. Consider the following facts before entering the industry, and remember to make a detailed operational plan before opening your doors.
You Can Borrow Startup Capital
While startup costs vary from niche to niche, it’s possible for first-time entrepreneurs in the green energy segment to fill out a simple online application for a small business loan and get started quickly. For entrepreneurs in solar-related sectors, like installation, sales, warehousing, and production, the most common early expense category is advertising. It’s also wise to combine borrowed capital resources with any personal savings you’ve socked away for a quick launch. Additionally, borrowing money for a startup is an efficient and safe way to build up business credit. By repaying small loans in a timely fashion, new owners can create a more stable financial future.
There Are Multiple Opportunities
Check any big city business directory online, and it’s apparent that solar installation for both residential and commercial structures is one of the fastest growing areas for entrepreneurs in the field. For smaller companies that don’t want or need direct technical involvement with panels and arrays, sales is the obvious choice. Other opportunities for founders include panel inspection and repair, delivery transport from factory to the warehouse, or from warehouse to customer locations.
Consumers Can Afford Arrays
What drives demand? In the green energy niche, affordability has been the game changer since the early 2000s. Two decades ago, residential rooftop setups took at least 15 years to pay for themselves. As prices have declined, the repayment period has come down significantly, meaning a homeowner in a sunny location can cover initial costs within five years on average. The combination of efficiency, lower costs, and higher demand all work together to make solar-based businesses a viable option for investors, owners, and lenders in the 2020s.
Demand Will Continue to Grow
As prices for simple residential arrays have come down during the past decade, and as the cost of heating oil has gone up, consumer demand for solar panels has risen steadily. The same is true for commercial, institutional, non-profit, and governmental demand. Many municipalities are required by law to use a fixed amount of solar-generated energy each month or year. Take a drive through any residential neighborhood in warm climate zones, and you’ll see more rooftop arrays than ever.