This was the question most recently asked by Rasika Gokhale Athawale, in an article for Asian Power, and the big versus small, centralised versus distributed debate is one of the key conversations in the emerging energy storage sector. The central question being asked is: should energy be stored locally, in a household or community or office building, or are utilities better placed to do so?
Athawale also discusses a mid-sized model, consisting of between 20 and 100 households. Our opinion at Energy Storage Report is that local and utility storage are both essential at this point in time. Local solutions have already proven their worth during disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, and some prestigious buildings are planning to have their own energy storage back up (see below).
You can use domestic energy storage to save excess power from a PV panel on your roof for when you need it, or sell it to a grid when other users’ demand is high. But with big renewable generation comes big variability, and consequently you need big energy storage solutions to soak up the extra, then use it to fill the gaps.