Experts believe it is circa 2010 for energy storage, the year that saw tremendous price declines in solar PV systems.
Last September, a news article appearing in Renewable Energy World discussed why this is so.
The report indicated that solar industry in the U.S. has shown remarkable growth over the last four years and recent statistics speak of this growth. As of March 2014, solar installations went up to 1,330 MW from a modest 340 MW back in 2010. Installation costs per watt likewise improved to about $2.30 this year from $6.40 in 2010.
Costs of solar PVs have improved owing to lower technology cost. Balance-of-System or BoS costs now comprise a large chunk of PV system prices. Experts foresee that energy storage will relive the solar PV cost scenario, pointing out that the cost of Li-ion battery technology has been going down to reasonable levels.
However, experts note that Li-ion battery price decline alone will not suffice.
U.S firm Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) created the Battery BoS program which aims to probe into BoS costs and address related issues. It plans to undertake these with various industry players.
Based on actual interviews with utilities, regulators, and other key players in the distributed storage landscape, more than 60 percent of the cost to install residential-type storage systems are eaten up by BoS. An even greater percentage, more than 70 percent, was noted for the non-residential sector, the article explains.
According to the news, the company envisions states across the U.S. turning to renewable microgrids with energy storage systems for their power requirements. To achieve this, RMI stresses the importance of bringing BoS costs down so that the technology could be implemented on a larger scale.
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