Author InfoLink
Updated September 17, 2021

Solar energy is the necessary impetus for the development of residential storage. Only with a relatively matured PV market and an economically beneficial environment will home storage unit be adopted widely. In recent years, residential solar capacity rose evidently worldwide, as rooftop PV gradually expanded from the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia to emerging markets including China, Central and South Asia, and Latin America. The evolvement of residential PV, driven first by incentive policy and FIT mechanism (as in China), and then self-consumption and FIP (as in Japan and Germany), prompted the development of residential energy storage.

End of solar FIT, beginning of ESS

Taking Japan as an example, the expiration of FIT rates for rooftop PV, adoption of FIP, and introduction of subsidy scheme for home storage all serve to increase self-consumption and complete the grid. These moves have pushed forward with domestic deployment of residential battery storage, with 130,000 of units being installed in 2020. The figure will continue to grow, as equipment costs drops over the years and FIT ends.

According to statistics compiled by InfoLink Consulting, in Japan, more than 25 million households are suitable for installing residential PV, of which 3 million and 500,000, namely 10% and 2%, have respectively installed residential PV and ESS in 2020. This indicates a long way to go even for a relatively matured residential PV market like Japan.

Additionally, large scale deployment of distributed PV facilities paves the way for market for small-scale energy storage. In China, the “Pilot Scheme of Province-Wide Distributed Rooftop Project” promulgated on September 14 is expected to boost the development of solar-plus-storage in the future.

PV and ESS capacities in Japan, Germany, Australia, and the U.S
Figure: Cumulative installed residential PV and ESS capacities in Japan, Germany, Australia, and the U.S. in 2020

Cumulative penetration of residential PV and ESS in Japan, Germany, Australia, and the U.S
Table: Cumulative penetration of residential PV and ESS in Japan, Germany, Australia, and the U.S. in 2020

A bold vision for residential solar-plus-storage market

Presently, major residential PV markets include Japan, Germany, Australia, and the U.S., with Australia having the highest installation at 20%, whilst those of Japan and Germany sitting at around 10%. Despite high installation volume, the U.S. saw merely 3% of adoption rates as there’s massive number of suitable households. The highest installation rate of residential ESS among the four countries with the most well-developed markets was only 2%. However, residential solar-plus-storage market will grow markedly in the coming five to ten years, given costs reduction, incentive policies, and increasing distributed PV capacity, as senior ESS analyst Yuan Fang-wei of InfoLink Consulting projected in the “Global Solar-plus-storage Market Report.”

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