Small-scale storage technology is now technically proven across a range of applications. Costs are falling fast as demand grows, competition increases and the development of distributed energy systems evolves. Whilst most storage systems are based around an input source, charge controller and battery-set, there is increasing innovation around this core architecture. We have a broad knowledge base in this space.
In the short-term, the market for 5-10kW storage is likely to grow fast as installers pitch to a market of nearly 1 million existing grid-connected solar operators. The financial case for retro-fitted storage demands scrutiny, and a realistic understanding of import/export profiles. The economic case for storage today is marginal, but the economics will improve, potentially very rapidly as per solar between 2011-12. Beyond economics, storage can provide a range of benefits including balancing grid-supplied loads, driving behavioural change and enabling off-grid access to power. The financial case for including storage in new renewable energy installations is stronger, as common installation/service costs are shared.
As a team, we also have practical experience of storing surplus renewably generated electricity as hot water and thermal mass. We also understand the servicing requirements of these approaches and can set realistic cost and time expectations.