Moniz: Solar, Battery Tech as Transformative as Oil and Gas

monizThe development of battery storage technology coupled with rooftop solar power generation could be as big an improvement to the US economy as the oil and gas boom, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has told Bloomberg News.

The technologies are growing “very, very fast” Moniz (pictured) told the news service at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston.

Such technology allows consumers to generate electricity when the sun is at its strongest and store any excess for use when no solar energy is available.

Applying battery technology to the US energy system has “huge potential,” Moniz said.

Advances in battery storage, which the Energy Secretary described as a “huge deal,” could threaten the 100-year old monopoly utility business model as an increasing number of consumers reduce their dependency on the grid, reports Bloomberg.

A number of solar developers, including SolarCity are branching out into battery storage technology. The company recently announced plans to bundle its photovoltaic panels with Tesla batteries.

The battery market alone is seeing flows of money into it. Green Charge Networks, an energy storageinstaller that specializes in lithium-ion batteries, this week announced that it has secured a $10 million fund from TIP Capital to finance projects. GCN’s business model, which is similar to one used widely in the solar panel market, allows businesses to forgo owning the energy storage equipment and pay for the storage as a service via a long-term lease, according to a recent Forbes article. Primus Power recently raised $20 million in venture capital aimed at bringing its flow battery to market, according to Forbes.

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