July 10, 2018 | By RGR Marketing Blog

What the Growth in Storage Means for Solar Businesses

As short a while ago as 2016, journalists and energy wonks alike were decrying a lack of affordable storage capacity as one of the key impediments to the ongoing growth of solar energy in the U.S. and worldwide. But with recent advances leading energy storage in the U.S. to top the 1GWh milestone in 2017, and with double that total looking feasible in 2018, is lack of storage still a problem for solar?

Furthermore, if energy storage is no longer in its infancy, and large-scale infrastructure projects coming to support the expansion of utility-level projects throughout the U.S., how will an increase in storage capacity affect your solar installation business? The future of renewables isn’t exactly clear at the moment, but many potential issues that may impact your business are worth investigating in some depth.

What Is Driving the Growth of Solar Power Storage?

The ongoing and expected upswing in energy storage capacity in the U.S. has been driven by a few factors:

  • Legislation - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission passed a new rule back in February that opened up U.S. wholesale energy markets to energy storage companies.
  • Technological Advances - Recent advances in battery technology, including applications of graphene-based materials, are driving the affordability of commercially viable energy storage technologies.
  • Incorporation - Energy storage systems are being incorporated into a variety of grid-development projects across the nation, primarily as ways to bring renewable energy technology projects into existing energy infrastructure.

The Problem With the growth in Storage

Storage was for many years keeping large-scale solar production and growth at bay. As the cost of solar technology has come down and the political, economic, and social pressure to move away from our reliance on fossil-based energy has risen, solving the storage problem has attracted more and more funding.

Investing in energy storage has become the missing link between large-scale solar projects and the existing utilities. Unfortunately, this may have an ironic, devastating effect on the businesses that did the work of bringing solar energy into the public’s consciousness in the first place.

If large-scale solar goes mainstream, the public may potentially have less incentive to convert their own home to solar out of concern for the environment and sustainability. The issue of incentive gap may be exacerbated by a lack of willingness by those in government to continue to extend tax rebates and other financial benefits to homeowners looking to go solar, as well as a reduction in the willingness to continue fighting utilities over net metering benefits.

So Much Remains to Be Seen for the Solar Industry

The upswing in energy storage capacity, both real and potential, in the U.S. will definitely have some effect on the economics of the solar installation business. But with so many factors at play, and so much of the future picture of solar dependent upon the actions and policies of utility companies, government bodies, researchers, and consumers – little is clear at this point.

Rooftop solar has been a main driver in the conversation around sustainable energy alternatives for the last sixty years; it seems premature to forecast its end. In the meantime, if your solar installation business could use some extra energy in your sales team, it may be time to buy some high quality solar leads. Get in touch with RGR Marketing today – we’ll help boost your bottom line in a hurry.

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