Report: One-third of solar installers offer energy storage, number set to rise

Dive Brief:

  • Just over one-third of solar photovoltaic installers offer energy storage solutions to customers, and those numbers could rise significantly in the coming year, according to a new report.
  • A report by research group EuPD found that only 34% of PV installers in the United States offer storage solutions to customers, but 26% of those who do not said they hope to do so this year.
  • Of the installers who do not offer storage, 38% said current battery prices inhibit them offering storage to customers.

Dive Insight:

Energy storage made a big splash in the market last year when Tesla Motors unveiled its Powerwall battery aimed at the residential market, but storage still has ground to gain when it comes to installations.

A report by Bonn, Germany-based research firm EuPD found that two-thirds of PV installers do not offer energy storage solutions. Among the main reasons are concerns about costs, which squeeze installers’ margins, and about the "technological maturity" of the systems currently on the market.

The report surveyed 302 installers in 42 states.

Tesla’s marketing efforts appeared to have paid off. Powerwall ranked high for name brand recognition among consumers, but the most popular brand for solar + storage installations was Trojan, a deep-cycle battery manufacturer that's been around since the 1920s.

For most installers, the survey found the most important features for energy storage solutions are guarantee conditions and ease of installation. Powerwall ranked high on both, according to the survey, with installers reporting that installation was relatively quick and easy.

The survey identified cost issues as one of the most significant barriers to greater penetration of storage connected to solar installations, but declining costs could change that outlook.

A recent GTM Research study predicted that energy storage balance of systems costs for grid-scale storage, which can comprise as much as 75% of total system costs, will fall 41% by 2020.

The EuPD report found that 26% of participants said they hope to add storage products to their portfolio at some stage in 2016.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: Tesla