Battery storage revolutionizes the solar power industry


In the renewable energy sector, the ultimate goal has always been autonomy. The idea that households and businesses use purely renewable forms of energy is consistent with the goal of the whole sector: a carbon free future.

For years, it is nothing more than a chimera, a utopian conception of the ideal modern life. The green idea of ​​"doing something for the environment" exists. We know that the industry can not expect people to completely abandon traditional energy sources and go green, like that.

It's a little here and a little there, modest, everyday efforts, on the whole. These efforts count for something.

In recent years, however, technology has emerged to get the solar industry to realize its dream of self-sufficiency. How? Battery storage: everyone from Tesla to Duracell launches their hat and launches a range of innovative products on the market.

This marks a shift in approach for the solar industry. It's a good time and here's why.

Sky-high asks for solar energy.

There is a demand for solar energy in the current energy market.

This is on the rise: a recent study commissioned by the environmental law group ClientEarth. The poll shows that 71% of UK citizens would be interested in a community energy program, but they want more support and advice from the government. Another 62% would like solar panels to be installed on their properties and 60% express interest in storing batteries. In other words, the UK is bursting with households that would be happy to "go green" if they received more support from the powers that be.

This demand reflects a growing popularity for solar and renewable energy.

In general, the latest Bloomberg NEF report (New Energy Finance) indicates that solar and wind energy will generate 50% of global electricity by 2050.

The "battery storage boom" is responsible for much of this growth. Speaking on the Bloomberg report, Seb Henbest, director of BNEF for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: "We plan to invest $ 548 billion in the capacity of the battery by 2050, of which two thirds at the network level and the third installed behind the counter by households and businesses.

"The arrival of low-cost storage batteries will mean that it is becoming increasingly possible to upgrade the supply of wind and solar power so that these technologies can meet demand even when the wind is not blowing and the sun does not shine. The result will be that renewable energies are increasingly absorbing the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear power. "

It is there that lies the vital solution.

When the sun goes down, those with solar panels will no longer be forced to use the national grid for their nighttime electricity. Instead, they can be completely autonomous because they will have accumulated surplus energy throughout the day.

Battery storage around the world.

The battery storage boom is shaking solar energy on a global scale. In the most diverse economies, solar cells have become a much more viable choice than when they were initiated by a handful of market dominators at high prices (Tesla is one).

They are now cheaper and are provided by recognized household brands at a time when more people want to go green. Most people are ready to come out of the understanding that fossil fuels and the "six largest" energy suppliers have been keeping for so long.

Here's what battery storage is for some of the world's largest renewable energy markets:

Solar energy and battery storage in the United Kingdom

The feed-in tariff – developed by Germany, is a way to encourage homeowners to opt for solar energy. This was done in return for regular payments made for the solar energy generated. This process is about to end in the UK. In March 2019, there will be no incentive system or similar replacement.

Fortunately, current feed-in tariff customers will continue to receive their payments normally. What the UK will not have is an incentive system as effective as its guaranteed feed-in tariff.

The British government's argument is one that recognizes the success of this program, which has delivered more than 800,000 solar installations over a relatively short period of eight years. The UK government says that such a generous grant is no longer needed in the UK.

The official consultation states the following:

"Our energy system is changing. Technologies such as storage should play an increasingly important role, and the government is trying to stop driving deployments with direct subsidies. "We believe that current FITs [sic] Uniform export pricing does not fit our vision for the future, given our willingness to move to fairer, cost-conscious pricing, and the constant desire to minimize support costs for consumers, as well as support the vision set in the Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy released last year. "

The consultation is just about one thing, at least. Battery storage is the UK's answer to the end of the guaranteed feed-in tariff, allowing homeowners and businesses to use solar energy 24/7 to avoid national grid prices .

Solar energy and battery storage in Africa.

This may not be the first place we think of, but solar energy is gaining ground in developing countries in Africa (as well as in other parts of central and southeastern Asia ). Although solar energy has enormous potential for mass application in uninhabited desert regions of Africa (residential areas as well), battery storage has long been too expensive and impractical to use.

Until very recently, that's it. The World Bank has announced plans to invest $ 1 billion to increase energy storage capacity in developing countries from 4.5 gigawatt hours to 17.5 gigawatt hours. The initial investment of $ 1 billion will be boosted by an additional $ 4 billion. It is said that Africa is benefiting most from the battery boom, with vast expanses of land currently unoccupied.

Riccardo Puliti, head of energy practices at the World Bank, said:

"We want to develop the battery market in developing countries. Storage has a bright future. The vision for the future of solar energy in Africa will focus on affordable batteries that are adaptable to village life. These batteries can last seven or eight hours at night and withstand extreme temperatures without requiring any maintenance.

Here's what World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said:

"Battery storage can help countries move to the next generation of power generation technology, expand access to energy, and pave the way for much cleaner, more stable energy systems." we know that these batteries help the underdeveloped countries. Solar batteries are ushering in a new era for solar power in the United States, where lithium-ion batteries have long dominated. New technologies seek to replace lithium-ion batteries with a safer and more affordable alternative.

Solar energy and storage of batteries in the USA.

In the United States, lithium-ion batteries have long been used to power electric cars and solar batteries. Their drawbacks became more and more obvious during this period: they use rare minerals, they are vulnerable to fires and explosions and they are incredibly expensive.

Last month, an energy company led by California billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong unveiled its latest innovation. They have developed a rechargeable solar battery that works in both zinc and air. The new batteries would store energy much cheaper than current lithium-ion products.

The new products have already been tested in Africa and Asia and even power the majority of US cell towers in the last six years.

This is done without any support from the traditional grid system. According to Soon-Shiong:

"It could change and create totally new savings using only the power of the sun, the wind and the air."

It is clear that more and more people around the world are looking for ways to rely entirely on solar energy. With the solar battery boom, we are getting closer to reality. As battery storage becomes more affordable, we can expect to see more homes and businesses get involved. This is an exciting time for the renewable energy sector, which seems to capture the moment with both hands.

Callum Dawson

Callum Dawson is a content writer for Project Solar UK, where his favorite fields are renewable energies, solar industry news, green technologies and a range of other closely related topics.