A new report published by Navigant Research has proclaimed US residential solar company Sunrun as the world’s leading solar-plus-storage vendor in a market which is expected to see nearly 40 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity installed in the next decade.
Navigant Research highlighted how the growing distributed energy resources (DER) sector continues to change how electricity is being delivered to end users around the world, “shaping the way that end users view electricity.” Specifically, according to Navigant, residential consumers are beginning to shift away from traditional models of purchasing electricity from local utilities towards employing onsite energy supply.
The natural extension of this transition — which helped the solar PV industry enjoy significant price declines over the past 5 years — is the addition of energy storage systems that enable onsite generation to continue to provide electricity even when the sun is no longer shining or the wind no longer blowing.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, several companies are looking to capitalize on early adopters looking to take advantage of solar-plus-storage systems in an effort to gain a strong sector foothold — so strong, in fact, that Navigant Research expects new global deployments in the residential solar-plus-storage sector to total 37.4 GW in the next decade. Navigant specifically highlights three key drivers it believes will push this sector forward over the coming years:
- Energy storage coupled with solar PV can address issues that solar PV alone cannot. Standalone systems only generate electricity when sunlight is abundant and consequently cannot provide services offered by other generation resources.
- The installed costs of both solar PV and energy storage have fallen substantially in the past 5 years and further declines are expected, particularly for residential systems. Proven system performance will allow solar plus storage hardware and software assets to compete with retail electricity prices in the midterm in global markets.
- Solar PV, energy storage, and other electricity loads in a residence can now be coupled with virtual power plant (VPP) aggregation software to enable DER to be dispatchable to provide cost savings, address intermittency, and provide grid services.
Several companies are making moves towards competing in this sector, but according to Navigant Research’s own Leaderboard, only one company meets the requirements Navigant set to be labelled a Leader — US residential company Sunrun.
According to Navigant, Sunrun is the only company that is performing exceptionally well in both Strategy and Execution, with high customer engagement and several proven systems deployed in the market. Navigant also claim that Sunrun is “generally regarded” as a leader in the residential energy solutions industry.
“Sunrun has focused on leveraging multiple roles through turnkey services or strategic partnerships across the project delivery value chain to drive down costs and enable financing innovation to increase customer acceptance and participation,” explained Ian McClenny, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Additionally, Sunrun utilizes a comprehensive energy storage software platform that analyzes business cases based on local markets and optimizes customer or grid service revenue streams.”
“Sunrun is proud to be leading the United States towards an energy future that puts people at its center,” Sunrun said via email.
“Sunrun’s customers across the US are increasingly making the choice to pair home batteries with their solar systems as a clean, affordable energy solution for their households. This trend is true across the entire renewable energy industry, as well. Within the past few weeks, the amount of battery storage installed residentially throughout the US surpassed the amount deployed by big utility companies for the first time ever. Americans have spoken: home solar and batteries are integral to a clean, reliable energy system.”
Behind Sunrun fall Tesla and Vivint Solar, with both showing strong signs but lacking in sales, vision, and market traction. All the way back in the Challengers category are SolarWorld and SolarWatt, which do not have a strong business case for their products.
The Leaderboard in full includes:
- Vivint Solar
- ZEN Energy