The fact that your clients' own market grows is the most important factor when choosing a niche. If their market is shrinking, there probably won't be enough business for you either. This blog series, "Spotnik," looks for and brings growth opportunities to your attention.
Solar’s abundance and potential throughout the United States is staggering: Solar panels on just 22,000 square miles of the nation’s total land area–about the size of Lake Michigan–could supply enough electricity to power the entire country.
There are now over 3 million solar power installations in the U.S., the vast majority of which are residential systems.
So, does "Solar Power" grow?
Solar power in the United States is booming.
The industry has grown 42% each year in the last decade, and solar is now adding more new power than all other forms of electricity combined (56%.)
Even in the face of the pandemic, the U.S. solar industry had record years both in 2020 and 2021.
By 2030, SEIA expects solar installations to quadruple from current levels. It means that one in seven U.S. homes will have a rooftop solar system.
California, Texas and Florida are adding the most solar capacity. Virginia and North Carolina round out the top five.
Despite its phenomenal increase, solar energy still accounts for just 4% of the United States’ total energy capacity.
What Drives the Demand for Solar Power?
Plus, for companies looking to curb emissions, switching to renewable power is typically one of the first and easiest steps.
What Types of Solar Power Clients Are There?
There are 10,000+ solar businesses in the U.S., and the vast majority of these are solar installers. They also seem to be the ones web designers are working with.
I went through the portfolios of three web agencies focusing on solar companies.
The top 3 types of clients were:
- 1Residential (B2C) Solar Installers, 8 clients (for example, Jet Solar)
- 2Commercial (B2B) Solar Installers, 3 clients (One Team Energy)
- 3Solar Co-ops, 2 clients
Outside of selling you a system and physically installing the equipment, a solar installer often handles other logistical elements of going solar, such as applying for permitting, working with utility companies to get your system up and running, and filing for state and local solar incentives.
Solar installation companies can range from under 10 employees to hundreds spread out across the country.
The three web agencies had also built sites for a manufacturer of home battery storage (Sonnen,) a solar panel manufacturer (LG,) a CleanTech trade association (Victorian CleanTech Cluster,) a finance company for community solar (Fellowship Energy,) a developer of distributed solar projects (Ecogy Energy,) and a supplier of green building material (G-Store.)
What Services are Solar Installers Buying?
So far, many solar installers have been buying leads from lead-generation companies, for example, HomeAdvisor. This has been working (and is still working quite well) but competition is heating up, and the cost of acquiring new customers is increasing.
So, some solar installers are re-focusing on building brand reputation and engaging prospective solar customers through their own websites.
In this episode of Straight-Talk Solar Cast, a solar installer and Tim Brown from Hook Agency discuss how customer acquisition is evolving in the industry.
This evolution means solar installers likely will buy more services like:
Examples of Solar Web Designers
Click the screenshots to visit the respective companies. Go here for more info about these examples.
To get to know the industry, solar power trade associations are a good start!
For more forecasts for the solar industry, click here for a ready-made Google search.