Batteries to transform home power
By 2040, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that more than a third of new cars will be electric. In November 2016, the UK government announced a £600 million electricity charge point scheme. And in the US, electric car manufacturer Tesla launched its Powerwall rechargeable battery technology in May 2015, allowing users to store electricity generated from solar panels and even sell it back to the grid.
In combination, these and other advances may transform residential property energy use in the coming years. Why buy electricity when you can make your own, and potentially make a profit from it?
“If every home had an electric vehicle, then every home would also have an energy store parked outside,” says Dr Chris Horne, head of origination at Eon UK. “The future is about integration of the different devices that generate electricity, use it and store it.”
A host of companies are developing novel solutions for home energy generation and storage, including Panasonic, Adara Power, Nissan and Oxis Energy, which plans to launch a residential battery storage product in 2017.
How quickly and in what volume these products are adopted by the public will depend upon the price and penetration of parallel technologies including solar panels and electric cars. Once these elements are widely available and cheap, residential batteries could be seen in most homes within a few years.
Eon expects the price of large storage batteries to fall by around 30 per cent over the next five years, while better management of generated energy and the wide scale adoption of electric vehicles will prompt yet more uptake.
“In offering better ways to store the energy we can capture through any means, [energy storage batteries] will help the transition towards low-carbon generation such as wind or PV,” says Dr Horne.