During the day, many residential solar arrays will generate enough electricity to cover a good portion of the usage needed by the home. Some arrays cover more than 100% of the monthly energy used, while others will simply offset the ever-increasing electricity costs by utilities. The energy used throughout the evening comes from the utility companies, but many are looking ahead to a time when the utility grid will only be needed as a back up, and all energy supplied to the home will come from in-house.
SolarCity, a company chaired by Tesla’s Elon Musk, has said that it wants every solar array to come with battery storage within the next 5 to 10 years. Tesla has recently confirmed it will design and supply the batteries for home energy storage. SunEdison has also joined the home battery market, purchasing battery maker Solar Grid Storage. Many solar installers feel that they must offer the battery storage within the next decade to stay competitive in the hot industry.
The implementation of battery storage into the solar industry is seen as a huge move, allowing customers to store the extra energy created during the day in their own bank of energy to use during the evening. The energy grid will also benefit as less demand will be seen from those who are using energy from their own supply, reducing need for the outside source. The only player in the arena who may not be pleased by this new movement would be the utilities, who will see less demand for their energy.
For the eco-conscious solar and renewable energy advocates, this is also seen as a big win, as they can rest easy knowing that they are supplying their own energy from their storage and not the grid, which may supply their homes with energy created using carbon-producing fossil fuels.