Solar-plus-storage to become $8bn market by 2026, says Lux Research

A new report from analysts Lux Research has forecast that the market for energy storage systems for solar will be worth $8 billion globally by 2026 as the distributed solar sector grows.

According to the report, titled Helping Renewables Shine On: Analyzing the New Business Cases Where Batteries Make Sense for Solar Systems, the market for distributed solar – comprised of PV panels installed atop homes and business premises – will be 25 GW globally in a decade’s time as solar system costs continue to fall.

By 2035, solar power will be priced at just $1.87/W, states the report, triggering an attractive economic case for solar+storage to emerge in 2023, leading to strong growth.

Further findings outlined in the report suggest a strengthening of solar-storage partnerships as the industry evolves to unite against claims that solar cannot solve the issue of intermittency. This trend would build upon existing collaborations in this area between Stem and SunPower, Green Charge Networks and SunEdison, and Sonnen and Sungevity.

Growing policy support for storage will also play a role in driving wider adoption of battery technology, as evidenced already in Germany, where a subsidy for storage has meant a 35% growth rate in solar+battery systems. Japan has recently launched a similar scheme that covers two-thirds of the installation costs for any lithium-ion battery that is 1 kWh or larger, while in California there is a state-wide mandate to have 1.3 GW of storage capacity installed by 2020.

Finally, increasingly sophisticated software will make demand management much easier for consumers, meaning they can manage their energy consumption and storage patterns much more effectively, the report adds.

"As the solar+storage market matures, interesting developments will unfold on a number of fronts," said Lux Research senior analyst and lead author of the report, Cosmin Laslau. "There will be more vertical integration between the two industries, increased financing options, and even a move towards energy-sharing between communities."