Perhaps the most significant story in solar power doesn’t necessarily involved solar at all. The biggest story in the renewable energy industry in the coming years will be energy storage. Energy storage systems will be deployed in great numbers for both renewable energy applications and conventional energy storage uses as well.
However, discussing solar plus storage will be a primary focus on this site in the coming months. In fact, a new section will be appearing soon that will delve into storage specifics as well as profiles of the most prominent energy storage companies.
The significance of the changes that affordable energy storage will affect cannot be understated. This will truly have a massive effect on the entire energy landscape. Wind and solar power will finally be able to stand on their own, dramatically increasing their adoption rates.
The “elephant in the room” of course is Net Metering. While many states have progressive net metering policies that benefit solar customers, some states are currently looking into more regressive changes. The good news is that it won’t matter. Energy storage systems will replace the need for net metering. Instead of selling excess solar energy, homeowners and businesses will store it for later use.
As businesses and homeowners begin to see the value in solar plus storage systems, utility provided electricity will begin to take a secondary role. Microgrids will start showing up everywhere, offering much less reliance on the traditional grid model. Independent, decentralized energy production and storage will allow for a much more resilient source of power, especially in parts of the country that are prone to natural disasters.
So what’s the expected timeline for these energy storage solutions to start arriving?
Well some companies are already offering their energy storage systems and even more will become available by the end of 2016.
Again, current pricing and future pricing expectations will be discussed more in detail on upcoming storage pages. However, prices are currently low enough for deployment in high priced electricity markets in the U.S.; namely Hawaii, California and parts of the North East. It won’t be long before we can expect to see battery backed up solar panel systems all across the country.
Now is the time to go solar. Energy storage systems can be easily added when the economics are right, which will happen sooner than many think.