Tesla’s grand entrance to the stationary storage market has been (largely) welcomed but question marks remain over the company’s business model. Andy Colthorpe gauges the latest reaction and explores the options facing Elon Musk.
Tesla’s Powerwall home energy storage system will join the US market at a “remarkably low price”, according to one analyst PV Tech has spoken to following the announcement from Silicon Valley last night.
Germany’s residential storage system maker Sonnenbatterie will continue its push into the US, partnering with Sungevity, the residential PV installer founded by environmental activist and cleantech entrepreneur Danny Kennedy.
One firm exploring the possibilities of contributing to grid stability by installing energy storage at solar farms is German PV plant technology provider Belectric. The company will install two large-scale energy storage projects in the UK and connected an energy storage system at a large-scale solar power plant in Germany late last year. The system at Alt Daber is the first such installation in Europe to operate on the primary operating reserve market. Andy Colthorpe interviewed Belectric’s UK managing director Duncan Bott and Tim Mueller, chief executive of Belectric’s solar research and innovation subsidiary, Adensis, about the Alt Daber project earlier this year.
Sonnenbatterie, considered to be one of the market leaders in Germany’s emerging solar-plus-storage sector, claims the new version of its Sonnenbatterie Eco battery storage system has as much as double the potential lifespan of previous models.
The use of energy storage to increase renewables integration and provide stability to the grid requires the removal of regulatory barriers, rather than increased direct funding, according to one expert on the German market.
The market for residential solar paired with energy storage will grow tenfold by 2018, despite the relative failure of deployment to “live up to hype”, according to a new report from analysis firm IHS.
In December, PV module manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS will join other big names in solar by launching an integrated energy storage product to the German residential market, in partnership with Samsung SDI.
Energy storage might not be cost effective in Germany as a method of helping the transition to a higher grid penetration of renewable energy, until that penetration level reaches as high as 90%, according to a leading think tank.
A large scale ‘battery park’ has gone online in West Meklenberg, Germany, designed to stabilise grid frequency in an area where a large amount of power generation comes from wind and other renewable energy.