April 9, 2024

How Advances in Solar Battery Storage Empower EV Owners

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6 Min. Read

Solar is the leading form of renewable energy in the U.S., and recent innovations are making this sun-powered source of clean energy more viable and attractive than traditional energy sources as businesses and consumers seek more cost-effective and environmentally beneficial options.

There are many arguments in favor of residential solar, including lower energy bills and embracing a sustainable lifestyle. Electric Vehicle (EV) owners have additional reasons to invest in solar and storage solutions since optimizing energy costs results in even greater savings in the context of EV charging.

It’s an exciting time to explore electrification options such as residential solar and solar battery storage as prices continue to decrease and the industry enters a dynamic phase.

In this article, we explore how advances in solar panels and solar battery storage are empowering EV owners.

The Impact of Decreasing Solar Prices on EV Owners

Energy Sage, an online marketplace designed to help consumers compare prices for solar and other renewable energy solutions, recently published its 18th Solar & Storage Marketplace Report.

This report found that solar prices dropped by 3.5% during H2 2023, reaching a national average of $2.80 per watt. At the state level, prices range from $2.30 in Arizona to $3.65 in Tennessee.

Going solar is more cost-effective than ever, thanks to the various incentives and net metering programs offered by utilities.

As a residential customer, you can also expect consistent performance as the industry shifts toward a model where underperforming technologies are being phased out and manufacturers continue lowering the price of performing solar panels thanks, in part, to improving technologies and increased production efficiencies.

Experts predict that solar prices will continue dropping, with some predictions as low as $0.10 per watt by the end of 2024.

Lower solar rates are having another effect on EV owners and residential energy consumers overall. As solar becomes more affordable, utilities are increasingly investing in grid-scale renewable projects.

Spending is also up for other projects designed to keep up with the rising demand for electricity as populations continue to scale and society increasingly relies on technology, and for upgrading an aging grid that hasn’t seen improvements in many regions since it was first installed decades ago.

Investments in grid-scale projects translated to a 5% increase in residential rates between December 2022 and December 2023. As electricity prices continue to increase and fluctuate, integrating solar battery storage with a residential solar system is an appealing option, especially for EV owners looking to manage the cost of charging an EV at home.

The Growing Interest in Solar Battery Storage Solutions

The total amount of battery storage available in the U.S. increased by 70% in 2023, with 6.4GW added in the U.S. Experts believe this number could double before the end of 2024. Texas and California are leading the way with a respective 6.4GW and 5.2GW in planned energy storage projects.

At the residential level, solar battery storage is more accessible than ever, with a 6.4% drop in prices observed by Energy Sage during the second half of 2023. Demand is growing quickly, with seven out of ten solar shoppers requesting battery quotes from Energy Sage. California accounts for a significant portion of this increase as changes to existing net metering rules make battery storage more appealing.

High rates of EV adoption are directly supporting lower energy storage costs, with the demand for EVs fueling an increased production capacity and advanced R&D projects for the energy storage industry.

The growing demand for residential solar battery storage solutions is shaping the future of electrification and highlighting the need for specialized, licensed electricians who can design and implement complex energy storage systems with features such as automation and compatibility with the main power grid.

With the electrification sector expected to create 800,000 electrician positions per year, labor shortages could be a potential obstacle to battery storage accessibility.

What is Driving Interest in Solar Panels and Solar Battery Storage?

The solar industry has reached maturity. The supply chain is stable and pricing consistent, and you can access various affordable financing options for your residential solar project.

The Inflation Reduction Act is another factor supporting the growing demand for electrification, thanks to its incentives and tax credits. Combined with lower interest rates, the Inflation Reduction Act could contribute to a 17% increase in solar installations over the next decade.

The growing interest in residential solar projects is also driven by homeowners seeking to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. In short, the future of home solar panels is strong.

Incentives play a vital role in supporting solar battery storage adoption at the residential level. Energy Sage also identifies factors such as financial savings as energy bills keep increasing, maximizing self-consumption from solar, and having access to a reliable source of backup power.

Over the past decade, power outages have become more frequent and more severe, highlighting the limitations of the distributed model of the U.S. power grid and prompting consumers to look for ways to become more independent from the grid.

Time-of-use (TOU) pricing models are another factor driving the demand for solar battery storage. Utilities are increasingly adjusting their prices based on demand. Charging a battery when the rate is low and using it as a source of power when the rate increases is a smart way to save.

If you’re among the 1.6 million Americans who purchased an EV in 2023, unlocking savings with solar battery storage can maximize the $800 to $1,000 you can expect to save per year by going electric.

The Synergy Between Solar, Storage, and EV Charging

Combining residential solar energy production, battery storage, and EV ownership is an innovative approach to electrification that comes with a multitude of benefits.

This model addresses concerns linked to charging an EV or powering your home during power outages with a reliable source of backup power. Solar energy production also guarantees independence from the grid during prolonged outages.

Protecting yourself from rising or fluctuating energy costs is another benefit. Solar is a cost-effective way to produce energy, and a battery solution allows you to charge up when TOU rates are low.

Charging your EV with solar power is also a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Even though 20% of the electricity produced in the U.S. comes from renewable sources, not all utility providers offer clean energy.

Additional benefits will appear in the future. For instance, the next generation of EVs will feature bidirectional charging, allowing you to recharge your battery and power your home with unused power from your EV’s battery for more flexibility and resilience.

Explore Innovative Electrification Solutions With Qmerit

The demand for solar and solar battery storage is skyrocketing thanks to increasingly performing technologies, lower prices, and incentives. If you drive an EV, combining these electrification technologies has additional benefits, including giving you access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy at all times.

Combining at-home EV charging, solar energy production, and battery storage requires a carefully planned electrification project. As the country’s largest and most trusted network of licensed installers, Qmerit can help by putting you in touch with an electrification expert who can assess your unique needs, recommend the best electrification solutions, and put together a comprehensive electrification plan.

Learn more about solar and battery storage by downloading the Energy Sage report, or contact Qmerit to learn more about our electrification services today.

Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network