Solar plus battery technology cuts reliance on electricity grid

The UK’s over-reliance on the electricity grid, vividly exposed by recent extreme weather events, highlights the need for alternative energy sources such as solar.

Leading solar inverter and battery manufacturer GoodWe says that the demands placed on the UK’s electricity infrastructure and its vulnerability are increasingly making the case for microgeneration and storage. Storm Arwen, the storm that hit the UK with winds up to 100mph in late November 2021, left 100,000 people without power, with thousands of properties still cut off eight days after. More recently, warnings of thundersnow for this month again threatened to leave homes without electricity. 

A government review into the power cut response is already underway. However, with many people left without heating as temperatures plummeted, experts at GoodWe are calling for a radical rethink of how we power our homes. 

Overly reliant on the grid, which is already over-capacity

Eugene Lucarelli, head of marketing at GoodWe UK, said: “Storm Arwen was a perfect example of how our homes and the electricity network are extremely vulnerable to adverse weather. These are not just freak events either, and with climate change, the risks of storm-related power outages are only going to be greater. It also shows how as a country, we’re overly reliant on the grid, which is already over-capacity. 

Storm Arwen left 100,000 people without power

“There are solutions, such as solar and solar energy storage that can offer an alternative. This technology is becoming more and more affordable and accessible. With a solar inverter system, along with solar batteries installed on the building, it means homes can still generate electricity and store energy, even if they are cut from the grid. Part of our plans this year is to bring our leading range of low- and high wattage batteries to the UK to help this move to low-carbon energy.” 

The use of solar batteries in conjunction with solar inverters brings homeowners peace of mind in the event of a power outage as the energy stored in the battery can be used in emergencies. Batteries also allow users to store electricity generated during the day and then benefit from that energy during peak hours in the evening when electricity is typically sold at a premium. 

Viable alternative to fossil-fuel powered power stations

The issue of intermittency is solved as well through battery storage – where overcast weather conditions can affect energy production. The production rate of solar power systems can be calculated down to below 1%, making solar the most reliable source of renewable energy and a viable alternative to fossil-fuel powered power stations. 

Homeowners can also choose to just install solar panels and inverters to generate electricity. Any unused energy that is not used immediately goes back to the grid. As the costs of solar power systems can be offset for new build properties, GoodWe see no reason why this technology shouldn’t be readily installed in future properties. 

GoodWe advocates that solar batteries and inverters should originate from the same manufacturer to prevent against any compatibility issues. Established in 2010 in China and with inverters ranging from 0.7kW to 250kW, the global manufacturer provides energy storage solutions for residential, commercial and industrial installations. 

“As new homes in the UK become greener and more sustainable in accordance with new building standards, homeowners across the country can look forward to a future where power is cheaper, greener and more reliable with solar. We can put an end to the power crisis and safeguard consumers from price volatility,” said Lucarelli. “We as manufacturers have a big part to play, as do solar installers who are the vehicle to achieving this future.”