By: Kevin Williams
Categories: HVAC Electrical Solar
Energy storage paired with solar energy has emerged from its nascent stages and is becoming a leading energy industry phenomenon in the U.S.
In terms of energy storage alone, GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA) reported that 100 MWh of grid-connected energy storage was deployed in the fourth quarter of 2017, and GTM research expects the U.S. market to reach more than 1,000 MWh of energy storage in 2018. In addition, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reported that solar energy and energy storage are being rapidly adopted by both homeowners and Fortune 100 companies at a speed unheard of for any type of electric energy technology. Furthermore, the behind-the-meter market, which is the market for producing power on-site, grew 79 percent year-over-year with record numbers of system installations in both residential and non-residential industry segments.
"It's not hard to imagine that every solar RFP by the end of the year will include storage," said Ravi Manghani, GTM Research's director of energy storage. "Falling costs and favorable policies will be among the core drivers of the market's breakout 2018."
On their own, both solar and energy storage systems have unique benefits. However, when combined, they create synergistic benefits that outweigh those of either system by themselves. These include:
Money savings – Solar energy by itself allows you to reduce costs of buying energy from the grid. Energy storage by itself allows you to accumulate energy from the grid or renewables when it's cheaper, then use it when it would normally be more expensive or unavailable. By combining these systems, you're able to store solar energy to reduce or even eliminate your need to buy energy from the grid. You can even sell the stored energy back to the grid or your neighbors.
Carbon reduction – Solar energy reduces carbon emissions by decreasing the need to burn fossil fuels to provide energy. Energy storage allows you to make the most efficient use of the energy you receive which also results in carbon reduction. When combined, these technologies reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere even further.
Intermittent energy efficiency – One of the major drawbacks of solar energy is that it's only viable on sunny days. When integrated with energy storage, solar energy can be stored on sunny days and used on cloudy days, so its value is prolonged and increased. This also ensures that you'll always have energy available in case there are disruptions in the grid.
WISE's products and services offer several ways for you to enjoy the benefits of a solar-plus-storage system for your home or business. WISE Distributed Energy allows you to store energy from your solar panels as well as any other renewable energy sources you use. When paired with WISE Lifestyle Management, it allows you to maximize the efficiency of your stored renewable energy by directing power where and when you need it so that none is wasted. As a result, you maximize your electrical system’s money savings and carbon reduction potential while minimizing the possibility of downtime that negatively affects your lifestyle or business operations.