As we get closer to grid parity, PV modules and inverter manufacturers are investing in technologically advanced products that help homeowners use energy in a smarter way.
Photovoltaic systems alone produce several billion kilowatt hours of carbon-neutral electricity every year, yet the grid parity debate still raises additional questions: How does the industry help consumers utilise more of the power they generate? How can solar power best be used to make the electricity grid more reliable? What is the most efficient and profitable way to use solar power?
A key topic which is gaining importance is self-consumption. Any reasonable increase in the rate of self-consumption requires the use of intelligent energy management systems than can optimise power generation and consumption in an easy and automated way – a smart home.
Networked home appliances and the development of storage technologies that offer higher performance at a lower cost are arriving offering significant financial benefits, security of supply and improved energy efficiency.
A greater focus on optimising solar energy use has led to higher system requirements. Although high efficiency inverters alone remain a key part of any PV system, they now need to be integrated into an intelligent renewable power supply system. The first challenge is to offer a comprehensive system solution for home energy management. More specifically, an intelligent and intuitive energy manager with local power generation forecasts and flexible storage systems than can easily be added to existing PV systems.
Solar PV, despite the recent bureaucracy, is predicted to be an even more desirable investment than ever before with 2013 being an exciting year for PV advancements. Introducing these intelligent energy management systems to theUKmarket plus a bit of vital educating for homeowners along the way, we can all make better use of solar power.