Are we seeing a second revolution in terms of solar panels? Solar panels saw a huge surge in interest in the last few years – mostly due to the excellent feed-in-tariff returns. However in recent years, the returns available on this investment have considerably reduced and solar panel installation levels have predictably reduced at the same time. But could battery storage systems be the start of a new surge in solar panel interest and are they really worthwhile?
Solar panel battery storage
One of the main drawbacks of solar panels until now has been the fact that it was impossible to store the energy produced during the day for use at night. This issue was offset by selling the unused daytime energy back to the grid at a profit. Now that this profit has been significantly affected by changes in the feed-in-tariff, consumers are getting a worse deal. However that could be about to change with the introduction of a battery storage system that could allow consumers to save the energy produced during the day for use at night, rather than selling it to the grid.
Tesla – leading the way
Tesla is already well known for their electric cars and now they are looking to provide battery storage systems for homes that have solar panels. They are selling the concept as a way to go off grid and to contribute to the country’s energy issues by selling off unused and stored energy from your solar panels. For the first time consumers can have solar power at night and make the most of the natural power of the sun.
These lithium based batteries have already proved themselves to be incredibly efficient and economical and once installed require little or no maintenance. The batteries are even connected to a smart system that will work out the best way to use the power generated, when to store it, when to sell it and when it is best to use grid power.
Are they available yet?
Not quite, but they are expected to be available for sale during 2016. Tesla is not the only company that is looking into this technology and it is expected that there will be quite a bit of competition. So prices are likely to tumble as the technology becomes more widespread.
Will this lead to a surge in solar panels
It could. The introduction of battery storage could give solar panels another route towards improved sales. The feed-in-tariff is hardly worth the installation costs, with it now taking upwards of 25 years to pay off solar panel installations. Battery storage could allow those who love the idea of going off grid a real option. Once that was not available before and it may even provide a small income as well. That sounds like a win win.