News in brief: UK pro-solar Conservative politician Gregory Barker and film star Leonardo DiCaprio have joined the advisory board of Powerhive; Ireland’s government has become the latest to recognise the potential of energy storage in its national low carbon transition; and flow battery maker has supplied systems to projects in Europe that demonstrate the technology’s strengths in integrating PV generation.
A utility has been first off the mark to put Tesla Powerwall stationary storage systems on sale in Australia, with installations expected to begin in February.
Behind-the-meter energy storage controls based around Nissan’s EV batteries and a ‘software-defined power plant’, both designed to incorporate a range of energy resources including solar, have been launched in the past week.
PV Tech Storage attended the late November launch of sonnenCommunity, a new energy trading platform launched on a limited basis in Germany based on Sonnen’s residential energy storage systems. Andy Colthorpe spoke to two key members of the Sonnen team at the event, CEO Christoph Ostermann and sales director Philipp Schröder.
The first Tesla Powerwall home energy storage systems to go on sale in the US through a utility are being sold through Vermont’s Green Mountain Power which is including a “no upfront cost” option for its customers.
LG Chem and solar inverter maker SolaX Power have formed a partnership around a new hybrid inverter and energy storage system intended as a complete solution for the residential solar market.
It seems increasingly likely FiTs for solar and other government support mechanisms will be heavily cut in the UK, with job losses already taking place and more seeming inevitable. At first storage seemed like a simple solution for installers and the wider industry to shift its focus – even if only temporarily. UK renewable energy recruitment specialist David Hunt of Hyperion Executive Search, himself a former solar installer, takes a closer look.
A trade association representing some of Germany’s energy storage industry has welcomed the renewal of a support scheme for batteries, but says that establishing “fair market conditions” for storage would be more important.
Sonnenbatterie, Germany’s market leader for residential energy storage, has launched an energy trading platform that the company believes could make it as big as existing utility companies, rebranding itself as Sonnen in the process.
Renewables with energy storage can help build low carbon energy networks in the developing world – but the twin technologies still face competition from natural gas while they gradually mature, according to an electric power systems maker and integrator.