Solar Investment 2024, or How To Make Money With Solar Panels

February 16, 2024

Solar energy is a powerful renewable resource. By utilizing it, we can reduce dependence on fossil fuels, purify the atmosphere, and make the world “greener” for future generations.

SEIA forecasts indicate a trend of increasing solar system installations in the USA in recent years. In 2023, the capacity of solar installations exceeded 30 GW for the first time in history.

How To Make Money With Solar Panels

Source: SEIA

According to Statista, in 2022, the number of installations reached almost 3.6 million. California alone contributed to this statistical figure, with its residents installing more than 258,000 new systems. This growth is driven by several factors, including:

  • The decrease in the cost of solar panels
  • Government incentives and subsidies
  • Increased awareness of solar investment benefits

But did you know that you can get paid to go solar? While selling the electricity generated by your solar system directly may not be an option, you can still reap various financial benefits. If you’re interested in solar investment, stay with us and learn about ways to save.

Is Solar Energy Our Near Future?

Is Solar Energy Our Near Future

Solar energy is a promising field of renewable energy worldwide.

It is particularly active in the USA, where solar installations are breaking records in electricity generation. 2022 is a perfect illustration of this, as its clean production reached a peak of 145.6 TWh. According to the Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2022-2026, solar energy could double its installed capacity to 2 TW in just one year (!) – by 2025.

Therefore, due to its availability, efficiency, and environmental friendliness, solar energy will remain in demand for many years. And what does that mean? That solar energy for sale will become a profitable business in all states (both hot and cold).

In addition, producing solar energy on both commercial and family scales will strengthen the overall energy security and geostrategic independence of the USA, reducing dependence on imports of Russian gas and oil.

Determining whether solar energy is our near future or already a reality that is becoming an alternative to fossil fuels presents a challenge. However, statistics indicate the promising nature of solar panels investment.

Basics of Investing in Solar Energy

Basics of Investing in Solar Energy

Solar energy is indeed a rapidly growing sector of the economy, flourishing in its development. Make money with solar panels is not a fiction; solar investment is an attractive option for investors.

Why might this interest you?

  1. Solar energy is a renewable source, meaning it does not harm the atmosphere or the environment. This is a significant advantage for modern citizens who are increasingly immersed in environmental issues.
  2. The cost of investment in solar energy and installations continues to decrease, particularly due to comprehensive government support and the operation of assistance programs. So, as an investor, expect stable returns in the long term.
  3. The solar energy market is gaining momentum every year, with demand for solar system installations increasing annually. This opens up dozens of opportunities for scaling companies in the solar energy sector.

Investment Options Solar for Businesses

Looking for a way to save money on electricity bills? Installing a solar system could be a good option. Do you want to get paid for solar panels too? Welcome to a new level of awareness and interest in the solar energy industry.

How to Make Money with Solar Panels

So, if you’ve decided that income from solar panels wouldn’t go amiss, we’ll tell you what to do next. The main thing is to listen to your heart and choose what’s closer to your soul, as well as aligns with your interests and budget.

1. Solar Investment in Specialized Companies

This method suits you if you don’t want to deal with the installation or maintenance of panels. You can invest in companies operating in the solar energy sector. Some manufacture solar panels, others provide installation services, and still others are involved in financing related projects.

How to profit in this case? It’s simple: as the industry’s potential grows and, accordingly, the company you invest in, you will make money with solar panels.

Before investing in a company, it’s wise to do some initial research. Look at financial indicators, assess market potential, and consider how clear and relevant the company’s strategy is.

2. Solar Investment in Projects in This Field

Investing in specific projects gives you more control over solar investment. The earnings mechanism involves receiving profits from solar energy production.

Projects can vary in size, from a single, more powerful solar system to hundreds of solar panels connected in one system. Your choice depends on how much money you are willing to convert into solar investment.

To ensure your invested money doesn’t go to waste, carefully examine the prospects of the chosen project. Make sure solar panels are located in sunny place and have the potential to produce adequate amounts of electricity. Talk to developers or owners to understand the potential risks of the project.

3. Solar Investment in Land Development for Solar Energy

This is another interesting way to get paid to have solar panels. Enhance your income through versatile channels, including the sale or lease of land for solar projects. Intriguingly, this option is accessible even to those without land ownership, proving its unconventional yet effective nature.

  • If you own land, you can direct solar investment into its development. Your land plot should receive plenty of sunlight and have access to infrastructure. Don’t expect quick and easy money, as developing land for solar projects can take several years.

Be prepared to deal with bureaucratic institutions to obtain permits and licenses, as well as to prepare the land for construction.

  • If you don’t own land, consider solar investment in a company specializing in this. This way, you can make money with solar panels depending on the rate of land value growth and the company’s dividends.

Exclusively explore collaborations with seasoned firms that can support you in acquiring essential documentation and securing buyers or tenants for the land.

4. Buying Solar Panels for Personal Use

Choosing this option for solar investment will provide you with your own electricity that you can use and distribute as you wish. After some research, you may notice crazy prices for solar systems.

Expansion of Net Metering

Source: AD

But! This cost will pay off for you through savings on utility bills. Approximately, within 9-15 years, you will recoup the money spent (the number of years varies from state to state).

Before buying a solar system and considering future solar investment, monitor:

  • How much electricity you need to generate to cover the needs of all family members by reviewing electricity bills for the past 12 months.
  • How many solar panels you need to fully cover your energy needs (learn about the types of solar panels and their capacities).
  • How much sunlight falls on your city/state to ensure the system will be effective (use a global solar online atlas).

Overall, there are several ways to make money with solar panels. Choosing the best option for you depends on your individual circumstances and interests.

Net Metering: Get Paid for Excess Solar Energy

Net metering (also known as independent electricity accounting) is a program that allows owners of solar panels to sell excess generated electricity back to the grid. This means you can make money with solar panels from energy you don’t use. The amount you receive for the surplus electricity will depend on your electricity provider and local tariffs.

How does net metering work?

  • Electricity generation: Your solar panels convert sunlight into electricity that you consume at home.
  • Detection of surplus electricity: If you produce more energy than you consume, this surplus flows back into the grid.
  • Electricity accounting: A special meter measures the amount of electricity consumed, and the amount sent back.
  • Receiving the electricity bill: You receive a bill for the difference between the consumed and sent energy. In some cases, you may even receive a credit on your account, which can be used to pay future electricity bills.

Expansion of Net Metering

Net metering programs are not available everywhere. To avoid issues, check the operation details of this option in your state under various programs. For example, in Illinois, it’s the Commonwealth Edison program; in Maryland, it’s Pepco/Exelon; and in Pennsylvania, it’s PECO/Exelon. Thus, you can make money with solar panels by finding an active program in your state.

Investment Tax Credit: A Way to Make Money With Solar Panels With Government Support

Source: Solar Power World

We also recommend contacting your local electricity provider to find out if they offer net metering and under what conditions, i.e., how much they will pay you for the returned energy.

What Makes Net Metering Special for You?

The net metering program offers several benefits. It not only cuts your utility expenses, saving you money, but also lessens reliance on the grid and fossil fuels. Simultaneously, it encourages the adoption of clean energy practices.

A contentious issue of residential solar investment is the advantage of increasing the value of the house. Opinions on this statement are divided:

1. This Old House assures that selling a house with a functional solar system will not increase the price in 100% of cases. Factors influencing this include the following:

  • Location of the house. For example, in Alaska or North Dakota (outsider states in solar energy production), there are no local laws or state support that would stimulate price increases. Plus, homes on the outskirts or in neglected areas are unlikely to sell for much more, even with a solar system.
  • Local utility tariffs. If the state has high electricity tariffs, potential buyers will definitely want to buy a house with a solar system.
  • Ownership rights to the solar system. Leasing introduces added complexity for potential buyers, prompting them to evaluate the profitability of assuming the lease. They must weigh the financial viability of this decision.2. According to Zillow‘s research, homes with solar panels sell faster and at higher prices. Solar investments are gradually becoming more prevalent among homeowners, and buyers are increasingly interested in participating in energy production and becoming independent of the general energy grid.

Considering the growing demand for solar energy among American businesses and homeowners, we can assume that the price will be higher if you decide to sell a house with panels. Let’s also call this solar investment.

Investment Tax Credit: A Way to Make Money With Solar Panels With Government Support

ITC is a government mechanism aimed at supporting the development of American solar energy. In fact, it is a benefit that allows owners of solar panels to reduce their tax debt by a certain amount. shows that the solar systems put into operation from 2022 or starting installation by 2033 are eligible for a 30% ITC but with certain specifics.

Investment Tax Credit: A Way to Make Money With Solar Panels With Government Support

Source: SEIA

For instance, if you spent $22,000 on a solar system, you can get a $6,600 tax credit.

Are There Any ITC Limitations?

ITC is a great opportunity for owners to make money with solar panels and reduce their tax debt.

ITC is used to reduce tax debt for many types of solar investment – solar panels for households, businesses, commercial properties, etc. However, you can qualify for ITC under certain conditions:

  • The solar system must be installed in the USA.
  • The solar system must be purchased and installed after December 31, 2006 (when ITC became effective).
  • The solar system must meet productivity and quality standards.

Note that if you purchased a new home equipped with a non-leased solar system, you are eligible to apply for ITC, but only within 1 year.

REC and SREC: Certificates as a Mechanism for Return on Investment

Make money with solar panels is even easier if you take advantage of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) in the USA.

  1. You can buy and sell them on the market.
  2. Do not affect physical electricity consumption.
REC, as a solar investment, represents the overall environmental benefits of any renewable energy source, while SREC specifically relates to solar energy (hence the letter “S” at the beginning of the abbreviation).

What are RECs?

A REC represents 1 megawatt-hour of electricity generated from a renewable source such as solar, wind, or hydro energy.

RECs can be purchased by companies wishing to offset their environmental impact or achieve goals regarding renewable energy usage. RECs do not reduce the actual electricity consumption by the company but help support the development and utilization of renewable sources.

The price of this certificate is not fixed as it depends on demand and supply, the type of renewable source, and other factors. A typical medium-sized solar system will earn about 5 RECs per year.

What are SRECs?

SREC is a type of REC specifically created for tracking and selling the environmental benefits of solar energy. One SREC also represents 1 megawatt-hour of solar electricity.

SRECs, like RECs, are purchased by companies or organizations to offset their environmental impact, achieve goals regarding renewable energy usage, or receive state incentives.

The SREC market is specific to each state, with certificate prices typically elevated due to the preference for solar investments over other forms of renewable energy.

How to Make Money with Solar Panels: Concluding Insights

Solar energy is a unique natural resource that is gradually becoming the foundation for Americans’ greener life. Can you make money with solar panels? Absolutely! There are plenty of ways to monetize solar energy, e.g., managing a solar farm, investing in solar panels of a specialized solar company, selling solar power to generate income. Which method is best for you depends on individual circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sell solar power to grid, generated by my solar system?

Directly selling electricity back to the grid is not possible. But you can sell excess generated energy. This is the basic idea of net metering.

How do solar companies make money?

Making money from solar panels for companies is realized through installation, leasing systems, selling solar power to the grid, finding investors, and accessing tax credits.

How to make money with solar panels for commercial purposes?

You can earn more by installing a solar system for commercial use. It wins by size and capacity, thus generating maximum energy. Then it all depends on selling power!

Jed Hilton
Jed Hilton

Jed Hilton, our Founder and CEO, has over a decade of experience in the solar industry. His innovative leadership and expertise in solar technologies guide our company's vision and strategy.