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Debunk­ing the Solar Stor­age Scam

rooftop solar
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?


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.

These sto­ries might inter­est you also

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