Solar power systems integrated with energy storage will yield a $2.8 billion market over the next five years, according to a new report from Lux Research.
The report, titled ‘Batteries Included: Gauging Near-Term Prospect for Solar/Energy Storage Systems,’ says grid-tied solar installations that feature an energy storage component (e.g., batteries) will total 675 MW in 2018. Off-grid applications, including telecom power, will total 36 MW.
According to Lux Research, while the off-grid market enjoys higher profit margins, the much larger addressable market for grid-tied battery-backup systems means they will dominate the integrated solar power/energy storage market.
‘Developers are pushing packaged solar and storage systems in order to stand out as value-adding leaders, but not all benefit equally,’ says Steven Minnihan, Lux Research senior analyst and a co-author of the report. ‘Residential energy storage will see a boost in adoption due to solar, but the addition of storage will barely move the needle for solar players, driving a paltry one percent increase in global PV sales.’
Assessing the emerging market for solar power/energy storage systems, Lux Research analysts found that residential applications will dominate through 2018. As lithium-ion batteries and overall storage arrays fall in price, residential systems will gain the most, growing to 382 MW in 2018. Meanwhile, the light-commercial segment will increase to 220 MW, while heavy commercial/industrial systems lag, growing only to 73.3 MW.
The research firm says that Japan will be the worldwide leader in this market. Hit by high electricity prices and seeking alternative energy after nuclear woes, Japan will install 381 MW of solar coupled with storage by 2018, leading all other markets by a wide margin. Germany will come in second at 94 MW, while the U.S. will be third at 75 MW.
Lux Research also says that newfound storage policies may dramatically increase the market. This year, Germany set aside $67 million to subsidize solar-tied energy storage and the U.S. Senate introduced a program that could fund $7.5 billion worth of new storage projects, or about 7.5 GWh of capacity.
The full report can be viewed here.