Oft-regarded as an inevitability, the concept of coupling solar with energy storage has seen an incredible amount of corporate mobilization, both in terms of partnerships and technology development. However, the technology itself remains deployed only in niche applications or small markets, without the champion market it needs to grow demand and infuse both industries with badlyneeded business.Over the next five years, the industry will grow at a torrid pace but remain small, at 711 MWof combined solar and storage hardware for a total market of $2.8 billion in 2018.Overall, the high penetration of intermittent solar on the grid will drive the majority of grid-tied demand for coupled storage in historically strong solar demand markets like Germany, Japan, and several U.S. states, while emerging markets present an attractive case down the road as storage prices decline.In off-grid applications, growth will lag behind the grid-tied market, but developers and suppliers will be able to defend higher profit margins in the face of high diesel fuel prices.
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