Solar Plus Battery Storage Market to Reach $1 Billion in US by 2018

Demand for rooftop solar paired with energy storage systems will reach $1 billion in the U.S. within four years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

About 318 megawatts of solar-storage capacity will be in operation in the U.S. by 2018, the Washington-based industry group said today in a report produced with GTM Research.

Combining solar panels with batteries means users can store power during the day and use it at night, reducing electricity bills. Those savings can be more significant for customers who pay higher rates for electricity during peak periods, Shayle Kann, senior vice president of GTM Research, said in an interview. So-called time-of-use pricing is typically more common now among commercial users.

The report measured systems that are connected “behind the meter” to the power grid, allowing households to sell energy back to utilities when their panels are producing a surplus. Such setups will become more common with commercial customers as well, Kann said.

The biggest market for solar-with-batteries will be California, followed by New York and Hawaii, Kann said. These states have relatively strong solar markets, high electricity prices and policies that may spur demand for energy storage. California, for example, has mandated that the state’s three main utilities procure 1.3 gigawatts of storage capacity by 2020.

The U.S. is on track to install 6.5 gigawatts of solar capacity this year, 36 percent more than 2013, according to SEIA. By 2018, GTM Research expects one out of every 10 commercial solar installations will be paired with storage systems.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Solar rooftop via Shutterstock

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