The Green Living Guy

Moving Forward: Energy Storage

A Panasonic thought leadership series on disruptive technologies

Sustainable Energy continues to gain momentum. But is it poised to overtake carbon energy in the years ahead? The answer is energy storage. This simple idea becomes the disruptive technologies. Energy storage will help many homes and businesses solve energy problems in colder areas.

For our part, Panasonic stands ready with Sustainable Energy solutions to help companies move forward. For starters, they focus on solving the “affordable energy storage” challenge. With billion-dollar investments in the Gigafactory, such as (aka heads up) Panasonic is doubling worldwide production of lithium-ion batteries in a single facility. Best part is they can scale up as much as anything to drive savings. As one other colleague of mine working with Panasonic mentioned, through supply chain upgrades, Panasonic will continue to invest to make scale. These are wonderful announcements for energy storage, solar power and electric cars combined!

As I wrote before:

“Even in states with high insolation rates (i.e., consistently high levels of sunshine for most of the year) like California and Arizona, the sun does set. And it does so at the most inconvenient time–when many people are returning from work or school and need to carry out the mundane tasks of everyday living: running the dishwasher, doing laundry or doing homework by the light of the dining-room chandelier.

All those activities require consistent levels of electrical production which, in the case of solar panels, means the sun has to be shining–or that households have energy storage systems on site. The quest to find an energy-storage solution that could be manufactured and used on a mass scale is the Holy Grail of solar right now. And the company that finds an adequate technology that can be easily replicated will be the one to lead the next step in the solar revolution.”

However, at a meeting I was speaking at yesterday I mentioned that Panasonic is deeply engaged in these technologies. That’s important because when you’re creating entirely new experiences, chances are you’ll need to combine many of these technologies into an integrated solution. Findings from Panasonic research provides insight into the investments other organizations are making and the challenges they face.

Panasonic recently did a study on how long before battery storage of renewable energy goes mainstream?  As we see the infographic tells the tale.

24% of decision makers believe it will happen in 5 years

41% of decision makers believe it will take 10 years

Energy Storage is one of the leading disruptive technologies

Across all industries, moving to renewable energy is a priority among those we surveyed. In fact, out of 10 leading disruptive technologies making an outsize impact on the world today, renewable energy is one of the most highly adopted – along with mobile devices, apps & commerce, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Please note though, half of the companies in their study have already invested in renewable energy technologies, and almost three in five intend to do so in the near future.

Tesla tweet of power packs in BelgiumTesla tweet of power packs in Belgium

Energy storage from BMW

Recent research by GTM Research, the most respected research firm on the U.S. market, said out of the 4,400 battery-storage systems installed in 2016, 86 percent of projects were off-the-grid. In 2017, however, that balance is on its way to being reversed.

Then predictions based on the numbers collected already suggest 57 percent of 2017’s battery storage projects will actually be grid-tied instead of off-grid or grid independent. By 2022, GTM expects that number to skyrocket to 99 percent.

Producers bracing for greater demand

Energy and utility companies, which made up a subset of the companies surveyed, expect that meeting future renewable demand will be a challenge as growing demand outpaces supply. In fact, fewer than one in three believe they’ll definitely be able to increase renewable energy production to meet consumer needs.

The number one challenge that they see?

Affordable materials! Cheaper energy storage!

Panasonic does note that these companies claim affordability and other issues will hinder growth of green energy in the short-term. Yet, according to respondents, they predict that it will account for less than half the total energy produced in the next five years. So again 45-49 percent of energy generated will Be energy storage.

Big big big big big!

Energy storage: a transformative technology

One technology that’s widely seen as an important contributor to Sustainable Energy adoption is energy storage. It’s playing a stronger role in Sustainable Energy growth than even government subsidies. Among senior technology decision makers responsible for Sustainable Energy solutions, nearly three in five see affordable energy storage as “transformative.”

Why? Today, solar and wind energy are time-sensitive assets. Most energy produced is either immediately consumed on-site or shared into the grid. By capturing excess energy at peak times, affordable storage can make energy available any time, regardless of when it was generated. Decision makers recognize the potential of this technology and see “cost savings” as the best reason to invest in it.

So heads up. Panasonic Energy Storage is real and a growing force!

This post is sponsored by Panasonic USA but opinions are still my own!

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