American homeowners are buying batteries to store solar energy faster than factories can make them

In the past two years, homeowners across America have begun buying batteries faster than factories can make them: In the most recent fiscal quarter residential battery storage projects have tripled the amount of battery storage that was installed during the same period last year.

The expansion recorded a 24 percent increase over the first quarter of 2018, and it built on significant growth in 2017, which saw homeowners installing twice the amount of battery storage compared to 2016. By comparison, commercial and industrial battery storage installations grew by only 9 percent, according to data collected by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, a non-profit supporting solar energy and grid modernization.

This increase in demand highlights the pivotal role batteries will play in the wider adoption of renewable energy. Battery storage is the perfect compliment for solar because it allows energy created during the day to be used at night. It has become such a popular option that growth in residential investments for battery storage have even outpaced some analysts’ projections.

The advantage batteries for backup power instead of a generator is easy to understand – you don’t have to do anything with solar and a battery once it’s installed. Generators require gas or diesel, and in some situations, you may not be able to buy the fuel you need to keep your generator running. Plus, a battery is a lot quieter than a generator.

Another advantage is cost. Battery prices have dropped over 54% since 2014 because of the race to develop better batteries for electric cars.