Storage behind the meter: some determining factors for end consumer owned batteries

From Volker Wachenfeld (guest post) on March 4, 2015 in Category Energy Management with 3 Comments
battery storage of pv

Decentralized residential battery storage systems owned by private end customers are controversially discussed worldwide. Professionals discuss at international conferences the benefits of such solutions, saying that as of today there is no business case which delivers economic viability- without subsidy programmes- or they propose other solutions which offer higher benefits. Despite the discussion, the market already offers a variety of storage solutions which seem to be well accepted by the end-customer. How to explain such a contrast?

Photovoltaics as a success story

The development of photovoltaics often serves as an example for the anticipated development of the storage market: PV started as cost intensive technology in niche markets and is today, without doubt, in many cases competitive with conventional generation. Suitable publicly funded incentive programs such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) or tax privileges have allowed for economy of scale in the PV sector, leading to extreme cost reduction. Particularly, residential systems were and still are one of the pillars for the sustainable growth of PV. The transformation of power systems towards decentralized, renewable-based and sustainable models needs suitable instruments to face the volatile nature of several renewable sources. Therefore, storage seems to be a “natural” complement to decentralized PV systems. Residential privately owned storage systems could be a success story, especially as private purchasers’ decisions often follow their own principles, despite political or other obstacles.


Read the whole article on Storage PV Tech




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The Author

Volker Wachenfeld (guest author)

Volker is executive vice president for offgrid and energy storage integration at SMA, headquartered in Germany. Volker is operating q couple of smaller PV system on his private home and – of course – one of SMA’s home energy storage system.


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  • avatar


    April 17, 2015 at 12:52

    There is an article on (on the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit) about Al Gore using the Telecom Analogy. Quoting from the article:

    “This is like satellite TV versus the cable monopoly. It’s exactly the same as with distributed solar,” Gore said. “Renewable energy is providing choice.”

    Spot on. The daily meter standing charge that energy companies levy is a form of line rental. Self consumption aided by battery storage with minimal grid export is the way forward. The grid has to be present for GTIs to work. Similarly the POTS line has to be available for broadband to work.

    Reply »
  • avatar

    Pete Sharpe

    March 8, 2015 at 00:04

    Interesting that the “professionals” mentioned only seem to be focussed on the “economic viability”. People want more than just the feeling that they have spent money wisely. Many believe that the monetary cost of batteries is worth it for the benefit of sustaining our world, lifestyle and future generations. I do.

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Leonie Blume

      March 9, 2015 at 09:34

      Hi Peter,

      It’s reassuring to know that there people like you out there. Many people online only think of the return on investment.

      Best regards

      Reply »

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