Cheaper batteries for UK households

The trend towards cheaper home energy storage shows no sign of slowing down

London startup tailors smaller, cheaper battery for UK households to use more of their own generated solar energy

When Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, took to the stage in California in April to launch a solar battery for the home, the audience hollered and whooped at every detail. On the other side of the Atlantic, a more modest, quieter challenger plans to take on the US electric car giant.

Based within a railway arch, with the sound of trains running overhead from nearby London Bridge station and surrounded by other ecologically minded startups, the offices of Powervault are a far cry from Tesla’s showpiece Californian stage. The similarity lies in the product – the Powervault battery, which stores energy from domestic solar panels.

“Some people, especially if they don’t have solar panels, just assume solar panels come with a battery,”

says Joe Warren, Powervault’s managing director. They don’t.

Joe Warren and his Powervault domestic solar power battery (Image: M. Godwin/Guardian)

Joe Warren and his Powervault domestic solar power battery (Image: M. Godwin/Guardian)

Home energy generation has blossomed in the UK over the past four years, with an estimated 650,000 homes fitted with solar panels. In 2010, the government introduced the feed-in tariff scheme to pay householders who produce and supply energy. The scheme aims to push renewable energy in the UK towards 15% of total energy by 2020. In 2009, the figure stood at 2%.

Powervault, Tesla and other players in the emerging solar battery market aim to supply the means for householders to store energy produced during the sunniest part of the day for use at peak times, when more people are at home but the sun is down.

Read more: The Guardian

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