Energy Storage: In the Sweet Spot

16 February of 2012 by

electrical lines orange Energy Storage: In the Sweet Spot

Solar grid parity has not really given that great of a boost to solar stocks as oversupply from China has led to a massacre of stock prices in the sector.

However, the fact remains that solar prices have now reached grid parity in various locations throughout the world, and without a lot of people realizing it. In countries like Brazil and Italy, the price for solar is already lower than the retail price of electricity. The same holds true in a number of different islands where most grids are powered by diesel generators.  This is the case in Hawaii, which has recently seen a huge uptick in solar installations.

However the achilles heel of solar remains the lack of continuous power.

With many utilities and power grids opposing the mandated use of excess solar power, the need for energy storage is increasing.  Note: There is no one solution to energy storage for renewable energy, as a wide variety of chemical and mechanical solutions currently exist.

Lead acid batteries offer the cheapest solution, however the low number of cycles, maintenance, etc. makes it a difficult choice for a longer duration. And lithium batteries are expensive while other solutions, like sodium sulfur and zinc air batteries also have their problems.

Storing energy through large scale solutions, like hydro and air storage, is not feasible for small scale green power sources. However, with solar panel prices falling so much over the past few years, solar’s actually becoming quite cheap. As a result, we’re seeing an elevated demand for cheap and reliable energy storage sources. This will provide huge opportunities for energy storage companies like A123 Systems (NASDAQ:AONE), Exide (NASDAQ:XIDE), and Enersys (NYSE:ENS), just to name a few.

With Solar At Grid Parity, Will Energy Storage Companies Flourish? originally appeared in Green Chip Stocks. Green Chip Review is a free 2x-per-week newsletter, is the first advisory to focus exclusively on investments in alternative and renewable energies.

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