How Home Batteries are Revolutionizing Residential Energy

by Anna Gretz
August 20, 2016
Home Battery

The verdict is officially in: home batteries are here to stay.

It has taken a while for the mainstream public to settle into the the idea that home batteries are not just a passing fad, but now, the verdict is officially in: home batteries are here to stay. In fact, the number of home batteries and batteries for businesses are expected to double in this year alone. Home batteries seemed, at first, to be a cool new high-end gadget for the green energy nerd in your life. Now, home batteries have entered into mainstream, and home battery storage is quickly becoming the new normal, especially in cities with high concentrations of rooftop solar. Here’s how the home battery revolution is changing the way we think about and use energy, and how it’s expected to continue taking over the residential energy scene.

Back Up: How Do Home Batteries Work?

If you have heard of rooftop solar, you have probably heard about the downfall of rooftop solar: when the sun goes down, your energy source goes along with it. Home batteries eliminate the weakness of solar power, charging up during the day when the sun is high in the sky, and giving you seamless, clean energy at night when you need it the most. Home battery owners enjoy complete energy security--if the power grid every shuts down (which it will…) home batteries kick in to power the things you need the most during a grid outage. Home batteries can team up with solar panels, but they don’t have to. You can also have a home battery that stores energy from the power grid, giving your home a great back-up energy source, or the opportunity to shift the time of day you use grid energy in order to avoid extra peak demand charges. In short, home batteries put the power back into the hands of the consumer, giving you the control and energy security you need. It’s no wonder that the demand for home batteries is higher than it has ever been before.

Home Batteries set to be the New Normal

The latest generation of home batteries has ridden on lithium-ion technology, a light and efficient home battery composition that has taken the battery market by storm. According to the IHS, the next decade is going to usher in a takeover of lithium-ion home batteries, making home batteries as well as commercial energy storage the new normal when it comes to energy storage options. In this year alone, the home battery and greater energy storage market is expected to double. 1.4 gigawatt hours (or billion watt hours) of energy storage like home batteries were added in 2015, and by the end of 2016, that number is expected to jump to 2.9 gigawatt hours. In simple terms, home battery storage is expected to skyrocket, completely changing the way we think about residential energy.

“Energy storage [like home batteries] is set to grow as fast as solar photovoltaic energy has in recent years,” said Marianne Boust, an IHS principal analyst who studies home batteries and other energy storage technology. Boust says that just as the installation of solar panels has completely taken over both in the United States and worldwide, home batteries are going to follow close behind. United States may catch up in the Home Battery race

In the last few years, the U.S. has trailed home battery epicenters like Australia and Great Britain in installing home batteries. According to home battery analysts, the tide may be about to change, making the United States, along with Japan, the leading home battery and energy storage markets. Over the next decade, the United States is expected to hone in on home batteries and commercial and grid-level energy storage, generating a third of the total market revenue. By 2025, home battery storage will be the foundation of newfound grid stability, renewable energy integration, and energy management.

But home batteries are not just gaining popularity here at home. As the cost of lithium-ion home batteries continues to decline, countries like South Africa, Kenya, and the Philippines are seeing an unprecedented rise in home battery demand. Demand for home batteries is so high, many prominent lithium-ion home battery companies are having a hard time keeping up.

As Tesla’s home battery production ramps up, prices go down

Tesla Motors, a leading producer of both mobile (cars) and stationary (home batteries) energy storage, is doing its part to meet the growing demand for home batteries worldwide. Tesla just announced that they officially opened their $5 billion Gigafactory in Nevada, and is focusing on home battery production. Because of the scale of Tesla’s factory, CEO Elon Musk expects the cost of home batteries, as well as mobile battery packs, to fall more than 30% in coming years. Part of Musk’s plan is to integrate home batteries seamlessly with rooftop solar panels, creating a simple, elegant home battery system for every home.

As home battery manufacturers like Tesla continue to drive market growth and home battery installation, the United States will continue to take advantage of home battery storage to build up power grid stability. In fact, without lithium-ion home battery storage, the United States power grid could fail.

Why Utilities need Home Batteries

A study by Navigant Research last year showed that the U.S. power grid relies on home battery and commercial energy storage more than people think. As solar panels continue to pop up around the country, the power grid is expected to bear an electrical load it was never designed for. Because solar panels often feed into the grid, they require the grid to transfer power in both directions, sending power to customers, and also taking it back. Without home batteries, this may prove too much for electrical utilities.

“There’s no grid system in the world designed for this,” said Anise Dehamna, a research analyst at Navigant Research. According to Dehamna, the power grid was only designed to provide electricity in one direction… which is why it desperately needs home batteries to come in and pick up some slack. When home batteries are directly connected to solar panels, they can store the energy generated from the sun, relieving the grid from having to take on the extra load. Since the installation of solar panels isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon, the grid is going to need home batteries more and more to help relieve the extra stress of such a massive electrical road.

Home batteries are quickly moving from luxury, to normalcy, to necessity.

If you want to jump in and join the home battery revolution, we’ll get you started. Click here for a free quote, or start up a conversation with us below.