Faster. Higher. Stronger. The case of advancements in the renewable industry is very similar to the advancement theory in computers. Moore’s Law (originally more an observation) basically says that the ability of a computer will double every 2 years while remaining the same size or, visa versa. The is an over-simplification, but you get the idea.
In February of this year we fitted some 335W Canadian Solar panels to a customer’s roof. In November, we added 3 more 335W panels to each string to make full use of his existing system. The production of the new panels were also 335W, however, the panels were 20% smaller!
2 years ago, a 200W panel was a beast, now Canadian solar to name one producer are looking at releasing 660W panels. The science behind this means that people far smarter than I can ever hope to be are already looking at how they can harvest nocturnal radiation from those same panels. There are already building materials, glass, roof tiles and even paint that are PV receptors.
The future for generating your own power is bright, and dark if we get the nocturnal harvesting right. Perhaps the next paradigm shift will be power utilities very quickly becoming defunct? Rain water harvesting, water from air systems, filtration systems and generating your own electricity may well mean the need for councils and municipalities getting paid to render services are becoming way less crucial.
Local government in a country like South Africa is very much a grudge purchase as rates and taxes are levied way above inflation and property value, and some very imaginative new categories of charges are invented to try and plug the growing cracks of corruption and ineptocracy in those local governments.
I digress, have a read of the link below about PV panels development.