Solar PV energy storage: Is policy support required?

July 23, 2013
Posted by in Microgeneration, Technology, Tips | Tagged , , , |

Energy storage can transform the UK solar PV market and generate unique benefits for consumers and the energy system.

Storage technologies increase domestic energy self-consumption by storing electricity generated by solar PV during daytime and utilising it on-site when it is most needed, typically in the evenings (see graph 1 (pdf)).

As electricity prices increase, storage will become more attractive as a means of matching PV generation with domestic demand and reducing electricity bills. The German Government has already identified this opportunity and established an incentive for consumers to drive this market. As of 1st May 2013, the German Government provides grants and soft loans for the purchase of battery storage for solar PV systems.

In the UK, now is the right time to create a policy framework that will encourage consumers to take up solar PV energy storage. Policy support can maximize the potential of existing and future solar PV installations and give the opportunity to consumers to utilise on-site the electricity that they generate.

Some of the key benefits of solar PV energy storage are:

  • Reduced electricity bills – Solar PV energy storage reduces the requirement to purchase electricity from the grid generating financial benefits of up to £300 per annum for a 4kW PV system (see graph 2 (pdf)). Benefits will increase further as electricity prices rise.
  • Consumer self sufficiency – Storage in combination with solar PV can increase self-consumption close to 100% and therefore reduce exposure to retail electricity prices and grid volatility.
  • Grid support and stability – Storage facilities minimise the amount of electricity exported to the grid during daytime, when it is less needed, and reduce demand during peak periods when domestic consumption is higher. That moderates grid strain and defers the requirement for investment at distribution grid level.

Through its work with leading companies and policymakers in the sustainable energy sector Ecuity is helping to shape the debate.
For an informal discussion about our work on policy frameworks for solar PV & energy storage please contact:

Mr Ilias Vazaios
Senior Consultant
Tel: +44 75 572 86062 (UK)