Well before this week’s news of the Obama Administration’s plan to begin reducing fossil fuel-based power plant emissions by 30%, big British bank Barclays saw fit to downgrade the whole electricity-generating sector of the US high grade corporate bond market. It sees that the traditional utility sector faces big challenges from fast-growing renewable energy, and the market is not yet pricing in those challenges, Australia’s ABC has reported.
Barclays has calculated that it will not be government regulation that will phase down coal-fired power plants first, but rather the advance of renewable technologies and the continued decline in costs of those technologies. The Barclays credit team believes that, over the next few years, the “confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo”.
Barclays notes that the cost of home solar power with a storage option is already cost competitive with traditional utilities in Hawaii, and California, Arizona and New York won’t be far behind. The bank expects 20% of US electricity consumers will be able to have access to solar with energy storage that will be as cheap or cheaper than utility power within 4 years.
The United States is not the only country looking at a boom in home energy storage in coming years. Latest news from Germany is that “a number of factors are coming together that will lead to a boom in PV energy storage solutions”. Some politicians there are calling for battery technology to returned to its position a leading Germany industry.