Energy storage at center of discussion at Intersolar Europe 2014

Energy storage has dominated discussion in the opening days of the world’s biggest solar conference, the Intersolar Europe 2014 in Munich, with industry leaders pinpointing it as a major component of the future solar offering.

Talk at the conference, which is now being run alongside the Electricial Energy Storage conference, has so far centred on storage products as the driver of the next big boom for the industry – particularly for rooftop solar.

“The consolidation phase is over, people are now investing,” said IBC Solar’s Udo Möhrstedt – a solar veteran, who founded his integration and solutions company over 30 years ago.

“South America, China and Japan are following Germany’s EEG model, while in some countries solar is now clearly cheaper than coal power.”

The important thing for mature markets like Europe, he said, was “seeking out the niche opportunity,” which included storage, to encourage self consumption and a greater market.

“Storage and demand side management is key to further growth in the industry,” Möhrstedt said.

“The idea that utilities can use the batteries to stabilize the grid – this is rubbish – so I will not let the utility take out my electricity. However If every household, 10,000 households has a dedicated battery this can be used for stabilizing the grid and the car batteries could become a second hand battery in our basement in 10 years time as those units are refreshed.”

Möhrstedt also stressed that 2kWh batteries were not helpful, and we needed them to be the 10kWh to 50kWh range if we wanted to start managing the smart grid as a renewable grid.

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd