Renewable Energy

How Solar, Wind and Storage Are Changing the Renewables Landscape

My readers know I’m a big fan of renewable energy. My wife and I have a 10-kilowatt solar installation at our farm in northeast Pennsylvania.

It has flawlessly provided us with about half of our power for nearly eight years.

But I still have to buy expensive power from utilities for when the sun goes down. Which is why we’re planning to upgrade.

Installing more panels to our home will double our power output. And we’re also planning to add storage so we can use all of the power we generate.

Right now, energy storage prices are dropping like a stone.

Since 2012, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 74%. Over the last year, prices have fallen 35%. And they will continue to drop over the next five years.

This means that the renewable energy triple threat – wind power, solar power and battery storage – will become increasingly accessible for residential energy users like you and me.

Why Energy Storage Matters

Without storage, I have to sell my electricity back to the utility at low wholesale rates. But any electricity I need to buy from them I have to purchase at retail rates.

Why sell it back to them at $0.015 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) when I can store it? Storage will allow me to avoid paying $0.14 per kWh for power I need in the evening.

These kinds of savings for residential consumers will quickly pay for themselves. Utilities, on the other hand, have a much bigger problem.

They must constantly shape their electricity generation profile to match the load.

All day, every day.

It’s a difficult task when it comes to solar and wind. The intermittency of Mother Nature requires utilities to have a way to deal with her.

That’s where energy storage comes in. It’s the silver bullet for renewables because it reduces intermittency and increases reliability.

Before energy storage, electricity had to be used as soon as it was produced.

Storage makes it easier for utilities to match generation profiles to loads. They can effectively time-shift electricity generation to periods of high demand.

The combination of wind and solar provides a large and constant source to the grid with an output that can be adjusted instantaneously.

The Future of Energy Storage in the U.S.

Today, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have adopted renewable portfolio standards. An additional eight states and one territory have renewable energy goals.

Nearly every state understands the value of storage as part of its renewable portfolio standards. It’s increasingly cost-effective and energy-efficient.

That benefits ratepayers (you and me). Not to mention, energy storage is helping us move toward a more sustainable future.

I’m currently watching two battery storage stocks. Check them out here.

Good investing,

Dave