The NEC Energy Solutions Blog

Solar and energy storage rising side by side

The solar energy market and energy storage industry are increasingly being tied together as part of a more sustainable energy future. This is happening at a macro level with leading market analysts anticipating solar and storage to come together to transform the grid, in large-scale deployments where variable renewables and batteries are being combined and even in small, off-grid environments.

Looking at the solar/storage big picture
A recent study from Deutsche Bank found that solar energy has already achieved grid parity compared to traditional power sources in many national markets today, and will achieve that end in 80 percent of national markets within the next two years. Furthermore, the scale of solar energy deployments is rising, to the point that solar could make up approximately 30 percent of the world's power by 2050. As the industry stands, the solar market is set to create $5 trillion in revenues during the next 15 years.

"The beginning of a future built around batteries and solar power is already here."

Solar is accomplishing this meteoric rise in large part because of the rise of energy storage systems. The study explained that "cost-competitive" storage will serve as the killer app that drives solar deployments moving forward and helps usher in a new era of cost-efficient renewable energy.

Bringing solar/storage projections down to a more applicable level
A recent report from the BBC echoed Deutsche Bank's sentiments about the potential of solar and energy storage, and went on to point out that the technologies are rising in many national projects. Energy storage is being adopted rapidly in the United States, where power outages between 2003 and 2012  cost the nation approximately $70 billion annually. The goal is to use solar to provide efficient power and energy storage to improve reliability.

The BBC also pointed to Puerto Rico as a prime example of the changing solar and storage climate, as the government has mandated that any renewable energy installation is coupled with storage investments that match 30 percent of the station's generation capabilities. These efforts showcase that while energy storage and solar power have a bright future together, significant advances are already on the way.

Solar and storage uniting in the home
Large-scale projects and regulatory efforts aren't the only places where solar power and energy storage systems are gaining steam. Citing a study from Climate Group and the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets, a recent GreenTech Media report explained that off-grid solar arrays and energy storage systems could fuel power reliability for millions of Indians who are living without power. In general, many experts agree that solar power combined with batteries can bring about economic revitalization in developing economies as the technologies can come together to support reliable, cost-efficient power in a diverse range of locations.

Whether you are dealing with large economic issues or simply getting reliable power to homes, the beginning of a future built around batteries and solar power is already here.

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