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Tesla's latest strategy to save its solar business



Solar power is ready for a serious boom. Solar panel technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, and the industry's infrastructure has never been so efficient or affordable. In fact, the technology and science news site Singularity Hub, in an article entitled "The Age of Solar Energy Abundance is Getting Hot," says that not only is the industry warming, but it must be rising. "As the cost-performance ratio of solar technologies begins to undercut traditional energy sources," the article predicts, "we will soon witness the massive integration of solar cells into everyday infrastructure that meets energy needs around the world."

strong trends and stronger rhetoric, however, not all parties in the solar industry feel love yet. Oilprice only announced last week that "thanks to the hyper-competitive solar startup market, we are witnessing particularly rapid progress in less unobtrusive solar panels designed for the urban environment, such as the increasingly efficient transparent solar panels and the Tesla Solar Roof project," but this week, new reporting shows that Tesla is yet to reap the benefits of their innovative solar panel technology.

While other solar panel companies are seeing incredible growth and promising profit margins, Tesla's SolarCity subsidiary is struggling. While the California-based company was at the top of the solar market when Tesla acquired it about three years ago, SolarCity has since slipped into the rankings. "While SolarCity was one of the largest solar energy providers in the United States just a few years ago, its share of the market decline after Tesla was acquired in 201

6," TechRadar reports. "Other vendors are now leading the way, with Tesla installing only 29 megawatts of solar panel technology over the three months that rival SunRun took 103 megawatts."

Now, in response to the company's unsuccessful sales, Tesla SolarCity has trying a new strategy. Instead of selling solar panels, the company is now trying to rent them out. Currently, this new model is available in the US and will be released in Europe next year. "Rental starts from $ 50 a month in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico – with profits up to $ 65 in California," according to TechRadar. Related: Saudi Arabia's latest strategy to send higher oil prices SolarCity customers will probably notice that it is still in their best interest to buy a solar panel directly instead of paying an annual rental fee, "especially considering the $ 1500 price tag (about $ 1,230 / AU $ 2,210) about removing these panels if you decide to stop renting. " o SolarCity's economic options for solar panels start at $ 7,000 (about £ 5,700 / AU $ 10,300) after tax incentives are considered. If the user has been using the panel for more than 12 years, he or she has already received more of their money compared to renting.

Maybe that's part of Tesla's plan to increase sales after all. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk acknowledged so much in Twitter saying that even after Tesla's launch of new, lower-priced solar panels, "it's still better to buy" , but the renowned entrepreneur assured his followers that anyway, installing solar panels is like "having a money printer on your roof if you live in a high-energy state."

If Tesla's rental plan doesn't can save SolarCity, maybe the market can. If the solar industry is set to explode at the high rate of perception that many experts predict, sales will increase everywhere. And while buying a solar panel is a better economic solution in the long run, we are well aware that it often means nothing when looking through the lens of a behavioral economy. For many prospective adoptive parents, $ 50 a month probably sounds like a steal right now.

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com

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