Distributed storage capacity has the potential to even out the prices over the day and match consumption and production. It also solves a major issue with most renewables. It would be even more interesting if people were allowed to store cheap electricity and sell it back during expensive hours for profit.
true, and in a free market, that is exactly what would happen. sadly, the US energy market is no where near free. In the last three years, Koch Industries has successfully lobbied legislative bodies in 17 states to impede the deployment of alternative energy, and to drastically roll back, if not outrightly abandon existing programs. Case in point: net metering, where the utility company monitors power use and credits a homeowner for power sent back to the grid. In 2014, right here in sunny Az, three Koch-funded candidates were elected to our five person Corporation Commission, which, among other duties, sets utility rates. in february this year, they announced two structural changes that effectively kill net metering. the first change eliminates the ability to bank your credits over the length of a year, meaning that the credits needed to offset months where your PV array doesnt cover your power use are no longer available. the second change reduces the amount of money the utility will pay for your excess production, from full retail to less than half of wholesale. Arizona was seeing fairly strong growth in rooftop solar, until that announcement. in march, new residential solar permits were down 42% over Mar 2014. so far in april, there have been zero new residential permits.