UNLEASHING THE POTENTIAL OF SOLAR & STORAGE
While solar covers around 5% of the European electricity demand today, its contribution could easily increase up to 15% by 2030, it would only take around 20 GW of newly installed PV capacity per year. A major trend linked to the deployment of solar is its co-location with battery storage. Storage adds flexibility and allows increasing system integration of solar PV. European examples can be found in the UK, where the first subsidy free utility solar & storage installations are being developed. Or in Germany, where around 50% of all residential solar installations in 2016/2017 were coupled to battery storage.
SOLAR & STORAGE BENEFITS EXPLAINED
Storage optimizes solar supply
The solar supply curve (yellow) is variable and coincides only partially with the typical electricity
demand curve (blue). Combining Solar & Storage allows to absorb the surplus generation (green area) and inject the stored solar electricity back into grid when demand is high (blue area). These capabilities make it possible for Solar & Storage to operate with the functional equivalence to fossil-based generators.
Storage firms solar output
Firming means that a PV system’s output does not increase or decrease too quickly. The advantage of having a solar & battery system working in synergy is that short-term supply and demand variations can be stabilized. Storage can even make the PV system’s output completely dispatchable, i.e. available on demand.
Storage provides ancillary services
Ancillary services allow the energy system to cope with variability up to an hour. To provide such services, generators must respond quickly to signals to help correcting fluctuations in frequency.
Storage reduces network cost
Historically grids are designed to only deal with demand peaks. However, with increasing variable generation grids face both: peaks in demand and peaks in generation. Solar & Storage systems allow to reduce peak generation significantly. In Germany, a market introduction program for residential storage systems limits the feed-in behaviour of PV systems to 40% of its maximum output.
Solar & Storage provide more stable energy prices
Arbitrage can be provided with Solar & Storage systems by using storage systems to absorb power from the grid at times of overproduction and low power prices. By injecting this electricity back into the grid when prices are high, overall price fluctuations can be reduced while system reliability and operation are improved. This is feasible on system and residential level.
Solar & Storage empower consumers and businesses to actively participate in the energy transition while controlling their energy bills
Storage gives consumers more choices on how they use electricity. This provides opportunities for new business models throughout the energy industry. One example is the “Sonnen Community”. Community Members that produce solar electricity can share it with others, in locations without sunshine or solar generation. If a community member generates electricity that he or she does not consume, this electricity is stored across thousands of battery units or fed into a virtual electricity pool, where it can be used by people who need energy at that moment. By combining thousands of distributed systems into a largescale virtual pool, members of the community contribute to the balancing markets, for example, stabilize the power grid in times of excess solar or wind power generation. The income from the electricity balancing market is made available to the community to guarantee stable electricity prices.
Source: SOLAR POWER EUROPE