The battery boom is coming to China, California and basically everywhere else — and it will be even bigger than previously thought.
As the Internet serves to democratize the world and enable strangers to share everything from their spare bedrooms to their personal cars through apps and websites, the trend has made its way to renewable energy startups. Specifically, crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow innovators to break outside of the traditional model of seeking out venture capital or applying for government grants. Instead, these ambitious renewable energy projects are increasingly gathering needed startup capital by splitting the risk up among many backers willing to offer up bite-sized chunks of funding.
Beginning this month, 40,000 South Australian households will have access to AU $100 million (about US $70M) in state government subsidies to pay for the installation of home battery systems.
Integrated energy company E.ON and BNP Paribas Personal Finance are piloting a new energy efficiency financing scheme for UK consumers.
The decreasing cost of solar PV and battery storage equipment coupled with high cost of electricity and grid outages are playing an increasingly important role in the future energy landscape of the Caribbean region. Most recently, Hurricane Maria devastated multiple islands including Puerto Rico, Dominica, USVI and BVI, amongst others, which left both urban and city dwellers without power for extended periods of time.
Rolls-Royce announced that it is investing in Berlin-based start-up company Qinous GmbH, a provider of what it calls plug and play energy storage and control systems.
In wake of a natural disaster, widespread power outages leave communities cutoff from everyday necessities, such as water, refrigeration, and communication. The most vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted and oftentimes unable to access critical services during an emergency. Most recently, Hurricane Florence highlighted the obstacles to preparing for and delivering services during a disaster.
Energy poverty is a challenge in many countries and continues to attract attention in international development discourses. Beside the inconveniences people and societies have to face, the lack of affordable and reliable energy supply is a social and economic tragedy with serious implications for many development outcomes.
The World Bank Group committed $1 billion to finance battery-storage systems in developing and middle-income countries, and expects its participation to attract another $4 billion in backing from investors as well as public and private funds.
Until recently, the biggest impediment to broad renewable energy adoption has been the inability to transmit and store it. For the first time in the history of the electric grid, technology advances in the lithium-ion battery space are now addressing transmission and storage challenges at a distributed level. Now, it’s technically feasible, and economically reasonable, for consumers to produce, store, and control their own energy with home solar and batteries. Improvements in the regulatory landscape, backed by consumer choice for cleaner, lower cost, and more reliable energy, is changing the outlook for solar energy in the United States.