Say “residential solar” and people immediately think Solar City. That company, along with Vivint Solar and Sunrun, comprises 50 percent of the residential market. The commercial side of the solar industry, in contrast, has lacked a clear winner, with the top 10 developers making up only 42 percent of the market, according to the recent GTM Research report, US Commercial Solar Landscape 2016-2020.
We're releasing the first-ever study of social media use by major wind companies, showing a nearly 63 percent usage rate of the major social media channels by 14 top wind companies. But with the industry's rapid growth comes an opportunity for wind companies to use social media strategies to drive sales and secure public affairs outcomes.
The great folks at DeSmogBlog have yet another excellent piece up, this one looking at "How Propaganda (Actually) Works." Here's an excerpt, followed by a few possible lessons for the clean energy industry.
One of the biggest challenges in marketing is how to generate more leads and close more sales. The good news: inbound marketing is making it much easier to do those things. Today, three out of four marketers across the globe are taking an inbound approach to marketing.
It seems like an eternity, but actually it was only two years ago that crude oil prices were hovering around $100 per barrel. Today, crude oil prices are around $40 per barrel, after rebounding from a low point of under $30 per barrel earlier this year. Given such low oil prices, one would think that the clean energy industry might be having a hard time maintaining its enormous momentum. Yet here we are, with oil prices -- and natural gas prices as well -- at their lowest levels in years, but with wind, solar and other clean energy sources not just holding their own but thriving. A few recent data points highlight what we're talking about.
As renewable power sources scale up, energy storage technologies are also likely to grow rapidly. In fact, as Greentech Media (GTM) reported recently, we're already seeing that happen, with the U.S. energy storage market expanding 243% in 2015, and with the U.S. energy storage market expected "to reach 1.7 gigawatts by 2020—with a value of $2.5 billion." According to GTM, "With exponential growth predicted over the next couple of years, energy storage solutions will deliver smarter, more dynamic energy services, address peak demand challenges and enable the expanded use of renewable generation like wind and solar." And as energy storage scales up, the cost is falling fast, with GTM projecting that the "cost of installing energy-storage systems is expected to decline 41 percent over the next five years as key components get cheaper."
The B2B (business-to-business) environment is rapidly changing. Most of this change is driven by businesses modeling the purchasing behavior of the general population by using personal and professional networks, as well as information available online, to inform decision making. This “crowd sourcing” of solutions is a paradigm shift for any business that provides products, services or information to other businesses.