NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar sat down to talk to Energy-Storage.News about developing – and selling – energy storage systems in lithium and flow battery ‘flavours’ alongside his company’s market-leading PV tracker systems.
Well, we seem to say it at the end of every year, but 2017 seemed a lot busier than 2016, 2016 was busier and more exciting than the year before that, and so on! There have been some hints already on what the industry and its observers expect to see in 2018 and we do not doubt energy storage will continue in its rise to become a flexible cornerstone of the world’s electricity infrastructure. In the meantime, let’s reflect on the top news stories of last year, as reported by Energy-Storage.News and based on readership statistics from you:
Since the launch of the site almost four years ago, Energy-Storage.News (and PV Tech Storage as it was previously known), has consistently brought you high-quality blogs from both guest contributors and our team of journalists and experts here at Solar Media. Here's just a selection of some of the best guest blogs we ran from January to June, 2017:
The digital ledger system blockchain has been both praised and misunderstood in equal measure and its relationship to the physical world of electrons is at its earliest stages of exploration. In the latest ‘Storage & Smart Power’ section of PV Tech Power, Carsten Reincke-Collon, CTO of Younicos looks at how energy storage and management software will interact with blockchain-led or blockchain-like systems of data processing and recording.
Primus Power is among a handful of makers currently commercialising their flow batteries, with rivals that include RedT, VIZn Energy and Redflow. Early customers have included Microsoft, which installed a Primus battery at its corporate HQ in a pilot project. Andy Colthorpe spoke with Primus Power CEO Tom Stepien to learn more.
We often hear about California's leading position in solar and latterly in energy storage. Perhaps lesser known than direct policy support for energy storage and renewable technologies is the way California's network operator (CAISO) is starting to reconfigure how it procures demand response, with a positive impact for energy storage - and particularly behind-the-meter assets, as Ted Ko, policy director of Stem, explains.
Having been subject to discussion for years within the academic sphere, energy storage projects have become a topic of high interest to energy sector focused investors in recent years. Philipp Lobnig of E-nable+, an online platform connecting energy projects with investors, offers his views on the key questions these investors should be asking.
Chris Pritchett of UK law firm Foot Anstey recently served as moderator for the “Developers and financiers debate” at the Energy Storage Conference at the Solar & Storage Live 2017 show in England. Afterwards, Andy Colthorpe caught up with Chris for an in-depth interview on camera.
One of the ‘value of energy storage’ questions that was being asked a lot two or three years ago was around the use of batteries and decentralised system architecture instead of traditional “poles and wires” grid networks. However, advancements in this area have been slow to materialise and Navigant Research’s recent ‘Energy Storage for Transmission and Distribution Deferral’ report sought to fill the knowledge gap. Andy Colthorpe took the opportunity to ask lead author Alex Eller three quick questions around the topic.
Solar entrepreneur and financier Jigar Shah probably requires little introduction. The SunEdison founder and former CEO is now president at Generate Capital, a project financing venture for sustainable infrastructure investment. Shah spoke with Andy Colthorpe about Generate Capital’s latest solar-plus-storage projects for a school district in California, as well as sharing his thoughts on the economics of energy storage today.
In the UK, a new, quarter of a billion-pound innovation competition for batteries has been launched, while plans for overhaul of the energy sector promising a “determined, joined-up, far-sighted and deliberate approach from government” appear to have been met with relish by the industry. Consultant Robert Ede goes beyond headlines to look at what this might really mean in practical terms.
Interest in energy storage in the Middle East is ‘ramping up significantly’, as we reported last week in an extract from this interview with IHS Markit analyst Julian Jansen. His firm is forecasting 1.8GW of energy storage for the region by 2025 – from an installed base of next-to-nothing today. Jansen talked us through some of the drivers, market dynamics and the general picture of what we might see developing.
With the rise of solar-plus-storage applications round the world, Frank Qiao, sales director at Growatt New Energy, talks to PV Tech about some of the key inverter trends and new products.
While the global energy storage industry has continued its pace of rapid growth during the past year, well-established markets remain highly concentrated in specific regions of the world. Alex Eller of Navigant Research discusses many of the factors influencing growth trends for energy storage at both utility-scale and distributed levels.
Welcome to Part 2 of our in-depth talk with Nancy Pfund, managing partner at DBL Partners, a venture capital firm specialising in companies and start-ups that offer both rewarding financial returns and positive social impacts. As well as being one of the earliest backers to Tesla and SolarCity, to utility-scale solar tracker company NEXTracker to Off-Grid Electric, which deploys solar in rural Africa; to others in energy storage like Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Primus Power, Pfund is extremely well-placed to offer a quick Q&A ‘masterclass’ in energy storage investing.
Nancy Pfund is managing partner at DBL Partners, a venture capital firm which specialises in investing in companies and start-ups that offer both rewarding financial returns, and positive social impacts. There have been some serious clean tech companies in DBL’s portfolio, including a pre-IPO investment in Tesla. With this in mind, we spoke to Nancy about how to invest in energy storage wisely and heard her views on the waves of the future. Part 2 to be published tomorrow.