Dispatchable solar plus storage likely in ‘near-term future’
Energy storage sources forecast that grid-scale solar will soon be paired with batteries to provide greater control over output.
Large-scale deployment of electrical energy storage tied to PV plants is just around the corner, Solarplaza has learned.
“When we talk about solar plus storage we talk about the near-term future,” said Philip Hiersemenzel, spokesman for Younicos, one of Europe’s top battery system developers and installers.
I don’t think it’s surprising we haven’t seen it yet, because prices haven’t been where they need to be. But in the very foreseeable future the game will very likely change.
“I don’t think it’s surprising we haven’t seen it yet, because prices haven’t been where they need to be. But in the very foreseeable future the game will very likely change.”
Luigi Lanuzza, head of Energy Storage Innovative Business Opportunities at Enel Green Power, said: “Energy storage will be key to further increasing the deployment of PV.
“It enables both increased programmability and grid support in countries where the fast growth of PV has had an impact on the existing grids and the deployment of solar power as main generation resource in rapidly growing economies.”
Recent months have seen increasing interest in combining energy storage with solar plants as battery prices have plummeted. A Deutsche Bank report issued in March 2015 called batteries the “killer app” of solar penetration.
The report predicted mass adoption before 2020, based on a 20% to 30% annual reduction on an assumed a battery cost of USD$1,500 per kWh.
But that was before Tesla launched the Powerwall, which at $3,000 for a 7 kWh unit works out at around $430 per kWh.
Industrial systems are already even lower, with Eos Energy Storage, for instance, claiming a cost of $160 per kWh for its Aurora system.
The fall in battery prices has already sparked a stampede towards storage alongside residential PV systems in a couple of key solar markets.