How the solar market can survive a downturn
BYLINE: AUSTIN, Texas — The solar market is on the brink of a major change.
With a new wave of investor interest in renewable energy, and new renewable energy mandates, the solar industry is facing an uncertain future.
In recent years, the U.S. has seen a significant uptick in new solar installations.
And with demand from new residential and commercial installations, new companies and individuals are stepping into the market.
But even as demand is rising, some of the more traditional solar producers are starting to experience price pressure.
That’s where the Laminar Flow™ comes in.
“We have seen an enormous jump in interest in solar, and that has led to a lot of consolidation of the market,” said Tim Karr, CEO of the Austin-based Laminard Flow™, which provides energy storage solutions for solar customers.
“And the biggest barrier to entry is the cost of solar panels.”
In order to stay competitive, Laminaro Flow has been offering a wide range of storage solutions to residential and business customers.
And today, the company is introducing the LMA™ series of products.
The LMA series offers a range of modules that can be mounted on a roof or on the exterior of a building.
LaminarFlow has also made major investments in the solar grid.
With more than 10 years of experience and a network of over 1,200 Laminara locations, LMA products are fully capable of handling solar power.
“There’s no question that we are now seeing a lot more investment into the grid and storage,” Karr said.
“With all the things that are happening in the U, solar is just a good example of the kind of infrastructure that can go along with it.
The grid is a huge infrastructure that goes along with the solar system.”
While Laminaria have been offering energy storage since 2005, it’s only in recent years that customers have started to invest in the LAMI systems.
The U.K.-based LAMIFlex™ system offers a 30-year lifespan, while the U of T-based TAMIField™ system is 30 years old and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Karr said that when the market shifts, he expects the market to rebound.
He expects that the price of solar will stay relatively stable, which will allow for the growth of smaller companies.
“The big question is, will it be at the level where you can actually compete in the market?” he said.
The company recently launched an app called Solar Tracker to help consumers find solar companies that are in the best position to take advantage of this change.
The app shows an interactive map of the top solar companies in the country, along with their total revenue and total cost of capital, as well as their cost per kilowatt hour.
Karr is also encouraging people to sign up for Solar Tracker’s solar insurance program, which is designed to help people avoid outages caused by the surge in demand for solar.
“It’s very simple to sign on and we know you’re going to be able to have a long, productive relationship with a solar company,” KARR said.
For the most part, Karr expects that demand for energy storage will continue to grow in the coming years.
“The big challenge right now is we’ve got all of these new technologies out there,” he said, “and the market is evolving.
We’re not seeing that kind of growth as a result of this consolidation.”
For now, though, the LilaFlow and LAMINare two of the fastest growing companies in this sector.
In the first quarter of 2019, the combined company raised more than $100 million in new funding, with a focus on the residential and utility solar markets.