Our Energy Storage Research Team recently hosted a webinar on residential energy storage entitled ‘what’s the reality behind the hype?’. The Webinar generated a lot of positive discussion and questions from many of our contacts across the industry. I thought it would be interesting to reflect on a couple of aspects emerging from this (if you missed the webinar a recording is available here).
Where is the interest in residential energy storage coming from?
Energy suppliers and equipment manufacturers are driving the interest, as you can see from the breakdown of our webinar registrations by company type:
However, there’s a diverse range of other organisation increasingly interested in the topic – in the above breakdown ‘others’ include IOT / connected home companies, research institutes, social housing providers, NGOs and (of course) consultants. The absolute number of attendees from the policy background and network companies reflects the more limited pool of companies, but not their level of interest – we have found a great deal of engagement from these stakeholders. Overall we have seen huge interest in the topic and it’s clear virtually all stakeholders in the energy landscape want to know what is going on.
How optimistic is the industry about the future growth of residential energy storage in Europe?
During the webinar we polled what people thought and the consensus is growth, but for 100,000s of installations rather than millions by 2020:
When having a closer look at the results from the poll, I expected energy storage manufacturers and providers to make up most of the 7% believing in the mass market by 2020 – i.e. thinking they would have a vested interest to talk the market up. So it was a surprise to see that actually a variety of organisations took the more bullish view. It’s the same for the 11% who are bearish in their thinking. It was striking that the middle 82% responding to our poll included many major energy retailers and international manufacturers that are already offering or evaluating the case for energy storage.
What can we conclude from this simple analysis? A couple of things I think:
- The momentum behind the current growth of residential energy storage in Europe has a lot of legs – it is not confined to one part of the energy industry, it’s coming from all stakeholders along the energy system value chain.
- While a few start-ups or energy industry new entrants like Tesla may be grabbing the headlines, there are many major energy companies already actively engaged. Given their strong incumbent position they have the opportunity to shape the rate and nature of energy storage deployment.