Thinking of Getting Rooftop Solar?

Debunking the Solar Storage Scam

rooftop solar
Summary:
Homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, according to research. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid.

This is how one uses linguistic to obfuscate the facts. If you are storging solar energy than it is not just for night time use, you are using solar all day long. No one uses the grid in the daytime and solar at night, that would be madness. Is this the level of intelligent reserch going on at our university?

 
FULL STORY

Homes with solar panels do not require on-site storage to reap the biggest economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, according to research from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In fact, storing solar energy for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and emissions compared with sending excess solar energy directly to the utility grid.

Whats being talked about here is the consumption of free energy. In other words we are not talking about an increase in the cost of said energy. As far as emissions are corcerned, I have two (2) words for you "proper ventilation"

In a paper published in Nature Energy on Jan. 30, researchers assessed the trade-offs of adding home energy storage to households with existing solar panels, shedding light on the benefits and drawbacks of adding storage considering today's full energy grid mix.

Keep your eye open for the fact that were found.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, the number of rooftop solar installations grew to more than 1 million U.S. households in 2016. There is a growing interest in using energy storage to capture solar energy to reduce reliance on traditional utilities. But for now, few homes have on-site storage to hold their solar energy for later use in the home.

So far so good...

"The good news is that storage isn't required to make solar panels useful or cost-effective," said co-author Michael Webber, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and deputy director of UT Austin's Energy Institute. "This also counters the prevailing myth that storage is needed to integrate distributed solar power just because it doesn't produce energy at night."

There is no prevailing myth that one who has a solar panel installation tied to the grid would need battery backup.

webber and co-author Robert Fares, a Cockrell School alumnus who is now an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, analyzed the impact of home energy storage using electricity data from almost 100 Texas households that are part of a smart grid test bed managed by Pecan Street Inc., a renewable energy and smart technology company housed at UT Austin.

What they telling us is that the research being done here is of homes tied to the grid with solar panels, not homes that are off the grid with solar panels and batteries. A very important distinction as we will see.

they found that storing solar energy for nighttime use increases a household's annual energy consumption -- in comparison with using solar panels without storage -- because storage consumes some energy every time it charges and discharges. The researchers estimated that adding energy storage to a household with solar panels increases its annual energy consumption by about 324 to 591 kilowatt-hours.

This is a totally ludicrous idea. The only way this could make sense is if you are charging your battery from the grid and not from your solar cells. And I'm sure that there is a diode ( an electrical component that allows energy to pass in one direction only) connected to the installation so that this could never happen.

Keep in mind. This would have to be an increase in consumption of solar energy, not grid energy, that is, an increase in the amount of energy consumed, not the amount of energy paid for to the utility company.

the researchers also found that adding storage indirectly increases overall emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide based on today's Texas grid mix, which is primarily made up of fossil fuels. The increase in emissions is primarily due to the increase in energy consumption required to account for storage inefficiencies. Because storage affects what time of day a household draws electricity from the grid, it also influences emissions in that way.

This is true as your connection would increase the overall emissions of the grid. Because you're already connected to the polluter. Your additional emissions however small would have to increase overall emissions of the grid.

If a homeowner is seeking to reduce his or her environmental footprint, adding storage would not make the household more green, but it shouldn't be dismissed either, the researchers said.

Keep in mind that he's talking about adding batteries toa GRID based solar installation, not an off grid solar installation.

"Solar combined with storage is still a lot cleaner than having no solar at all," Fares said.

This goes without saying.

 

for utility companies, the benefits are more clear cut. Solar energy storage reduces peak grid demand by 8 to 32 percent and the magnitude of solar power injections to the grid by 5 to 42 percent. This is good for the utility because it can reduce the amount of electricity generation and delivery capacity required.

Not to mention a new, totally free revenue stream, right off your rooftop.

"However, if the utility is interested in reducing emissions, giving incentive for home storage is probably not a good idea," Fares said.

Tranlation: "However, if the utility is not interested in reducing there revenue stream giving incentive for home storage is probably not a good idea," 

In short, the analysis showed that storing solar energy today offers fewer environmental benefits than just sending it straight to the grid, because the energy lost to storage inefficiencies is ultimately made up with fossil-fuel electricity from the grid. "These findings challenge the myth that storage is inherently clean, but that, in turn, offers useful insights for utility companies," Webber said.

Let me be clear here. I am not arguing that grid base solar is not cleaner than using batteries. What I am arguing is that corporations are once again ripping off the public by having them pay for solar energy that they send to the grid. Because this revenue stream will never stop as long as those solar panels are on the roof tops, and long after those panels have paid for themselves.

"If we use the storage as the means to foster the adoption of significantly more renewable that offset the dirtiest sources, then storage -- done the right way and installed at large-scale -- can have beneficial impacts on the grid's emissions overall," Webber said.

Translation: if we let the power company collect and store the energy from our rooftops, somehow all of us will be better off. The funny thing is that is true if they were not charging us for the privilege.

 

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