While it may have been less than $200 million last year, the worldwide market for PV storage is forecast to reach $19 billion in 2017.
The prediction comes from IMS Research; which believes the launch of an energy storage subsidy in Germany on May 1 will result in global installations of PV storage systems to grow by more than 100 percent a year on average over the next five years.
The new renewable energy subsidy in Germany, equal to 30% of current battery costs, may do for home energy storage globally what the nation’s pioneering efforts in feed in tariffs did for solar power.
Where domestic electricity rates exceed residential feed-in tariff rates, there has been an increasing focus on self-consumption in order to maximise financial returns.
“As a result, 8 megawatts (MW) of PV systems were already installed with storage in Germany in 2012, prior to the subsidy being released,” says Sam Wilkinson, PV analyst at IHS, the company that recently acquired IMS Research.
“The introduction of the widely anticipated subsidy will quickly accelerate uptake by making the lifetime cost of PV systems with storage cheaper compared to those without it.”
Increased uptake will spur on further R&D and drive down prices of battery systems – not just in Germany, but outside the country as well – much the same as what has happened with solar panels, solar inverters and other associated equipment.
IMS Research/IHS expects other countries will follow Germany’s lead and implement similar subsidy schemes to promote the use of PV energy storage – a prospect many solar households in Australia will find heartening.
The company says global residential PV energy storage capacity could hit 7 gigawatts in 2017 and utility-scale PV systems with storage are forecast to grow to more than 2GW annually by 2017.