Energy storage may prove to be the key bulwark against the so-called value deflation of solar expected as it achieves higher levels of penetration, according to an analyst at GTM Research. As solar penetration increases, the value new projects can extract from the grid may fall, which will put further downward pressure on the cost of solar in order to remain competitive. Storage had a key role to play in minimizing the impact of this effect as it takes hold.
At a distributed level, it can help solar owners decrease the amount of potentially lower-value solar power they export to the grid by allowing them to maximize self-consumption and optimize consumption in relation to time-of-use charges. At a system level, the value of storage lies in its ability to make solar essentially a dispatchable resource by shifting its generation hours to later on in the day when, without the benefit of storage, the array would not be generating. This would greatly increase the value of the power, in both economic and environmental terms.