The co-chairman of the Department for Energy and Climate Change Solar Strategy Group, Ray Noble, says the UK‘s solar photovoltaic market can be revolutionised by maturing and more affordable storage technology.
Speaking at the Solar Finance and Investment Conference, Noble, who is also a consultant to the Renewable Energy Association and an advisor to the Cabinet Office, said that while some storage technologies were 10 to 20 years away from being realised, technological advancements in lithium ion batteries – driven largely by the automobile sector – had meant that storage batteries for residential installations could be affordable within two or three years.
The timeline fits well with projections conducted by industry analysts, with IHS having previously forecast grid-connected energy storage installations to surpass 6 GW in 2017, almost treble the 2 GW+ estimate for 2015.
“The market will open up as prices come down, [business] models will change and different business models will come into play,” Noble said.
However Noble warned that storage and connection technologies would need a series of guidelines for installers to adhere to, with the Institute of Engineering and Technology set to introduce a storage code of practice in approximately 15 months.