Guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com
The effects of photovoltaic (PV) properties have been established as far back as the early 1800s. Over time, technology advancements have made it possible to explore these properties in order to develop a method to develop energy from light. Although we have adapted photovoltaic to mean solar as well, the principle is still the same—converting light into energy. Now, we are able to explore in greater depth what this means for the future of humankind. Inescapable facts are laid out before humanity in order to understand how solar may see an increase of innovative improvements.
The demand for a product has historically increased efficiency of manufacturing and functionality. This is driven to "out-sell" the other guy. In order to make a profit, you need to have a superior product or sell it for less. In an age where instant gratification runs rampant while the bank accounts are next to empty, the cheaper product usually wins out. However, that is not always the case when dealing with those who have the extra money to burn.
Automobiles have advanced a considerable amount since 1900. Although most of them still rely on miniature explosions of a combustible material in order to turn the motor, greater efficiency for aerodynamics, comfort, and extra features drive the populace to want one and spend money to get the vehicle of their dreams. How does this compare to solar power? In much the same way; panels are increasing their efficiency and features in order to drive sales.
Solar panels have gained a great deal of interest as technology has allowed humankind to develop them en mass. Since the interest of the consumer has been peaked, more efficient and less costly panels need to be developed in order to continue the trend of out-selling the other guy. Governments of various kinds are investing in solar electric generation as well, which means the efficiency needs to be at a certain level while keeping a competitive price in order to land that juicy government contract. As governments will spend a great deal of money on an efficient product, the income could drive exponential growth within the manufacturer that is chosen.
The more demand there is for a better adaptation of a product, the greater the supply has to be met. It's the basic rule of any business. This is what drives manufacturers and technology developers to continue outperforming previous attempts in order to encourage more sales. This is ever prevalent in the world of computer and mobile technology. Each year, another development is made to make your most recent purchase pale in comparison. As many are driven to own the best there is, this endless cycle of supply and demand continues.
Since the demand for solar panels has been increasing as manufacturing costs have plummeted, the race begins for greater efficiency at a reasonable cost. Due to subsidies provided by the government, Chinese manufacturers have a head start on controlling this market. The demand is high for cheap products that work and subsidies from the government can help manufacturers meet this demand. Being able to supply those who demand cheap and efficient products is only part of the chain. Marketing the product is what actually makes the sale. If you can polish a product to become more than what it seems to be, consumers will buy the product—even if a better alternative exists. Without marketing, a business could create an ultimate device that fails because no-one understands its functionality or knows it exists.
Liz Nelson is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.