Solar + Batteries + Electric Vehicles = A Match Made in Heaven
Imagine not having to stop at a gas station to fill up your tank any more.
Imagine yourself charging your car every night at your house with clean energy produced by your rooftop solar system, and stored in your battery system.
By installing solar panels and batteries in your house, you can power your home during the day and charge your electric car at night. Resulting in a zero emissions lifestyle.
This is not a far-fetched future. It’s actually right around the corner.
This future is possible because of three converging technologies:
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Electric Vehicles
- Solar PV
Until now, the three of them have been seen as different products serving separate markets, but as their prices keep falling and their performance improving, they will complement each other and accelerate their development and adoption in the market place.
How? Lets take a closer look at these converging technologies
1- Battery storage: This technology gives us the ability to capture solar energy during the day, and use it whenever we want. The cost for lithium-ion batteries (the ones used in Tesla cars) have fallen rapidly for more than 20 years, dropping by 90% between 1990 and 2005 for laptop and consumer electronic uses. More recently, the cost has fallen 50% over the past four years, and is expected to fall another 50% by 2020.
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
2- Electric Vehicles: Since batteries make up 1/3 of the cost of an EV, their price has been falling at a similar rate. By 2022, EVs are expected to cost as much as their internal combustion engine counterparts.
3- Solar PV: Where will all of the electricity needed to power our electric lifestyle come from? Renewables, of course. We’ve discussed this before; renewables are taking over the world. Why? They’re getting cheaper by the day and their performance keeps getting better. The cost of solar has fallen dramatically since 1977, plummeting from $76 to less than $0.36 today. These cost reductions mean that installing solar in your house/business is increasingly feasible, since solar is becoming cheaper than retail electricity everywhere in the world.
So what is the relationship between these technologies?
1- Increasing investments: As costs get cheaper for battery storage technologies, more investments flow into the space, which in turn leads to more innovation and cost reductions.
2- Increasing financial viability: As batteries get cheaper, it makes more economic sense to pair them with renewables, such as solar and wind.
3- Rising demand: As more people install renewable systems paired with storage, batteries get even cheaper due to higher demand. This leads to lower costs for solar, wind, and EVs.
4- Lower costs: As the cost for renewables and EVs get cheaper, demand will increase, driving even more investments into these industries.
This leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing demand, increasing investment and innovation that lowers costs.
This virtuous cycle leads to the convergence of these technologies. As costs keep falling and performance increasing, we will increasingly be able to install solar on our rooftops paired with a battery system to charge our electric vehicles.
Sounds like a bright future right?
Have you already installed solar or batteries at your house? Are you driving around in an EV already?
Share your experience in the comments below