US solar inverter and battery storage products company Enphase Energy says orders for the its first battery storage products are running at double its own targets, indicating huge interest in the “early adopter” market that will flow through to the broader market, just as rooftop solar has done over the last few years.
Enphase Energy has chosen Australia as the first market to launch its modular battery storage products – which is based on a “stackable” 1.2kWh module.
“The initial response has been very strong,” president and CEO Paul Nahi told RenewEconomy during a visit to Australia last week.
“So we had particular forecasts, and we are nearly double that, in terms of initial orders. We were very optimistic, because we had spoken to our installers and customers, and it felt like the architecture we were bringing to the table – modular, simplicity, and the price point – and an energy management system – would be attractive.”
Nahi says there is no doubt that the market is moving from solar-only installations to “energy systems” that will combine rooftop solar PV, battery storage and load controls.
And it will happen first in Australia, thanks to its high rate of solar uptake, and its high electricity costs, not to mention good sunshine.
“Australia is a more mature solar market and undergoing a tremendous transition, it is well ahead of most other markets in the world,” Nahi said.
“The global launch of our home energy management in Australia is because the market is here now. Now, being the tip of the spear also means you are going to encounter challenges before anyone else does, and it is not going to be a seamless transition.
‘That it is happening first in Australia is thrilling, that the market is so bright and ready for this next generation grid is exciting, but it will be a bumpy road.
‘My hope is that we can take this learning and … export it to the rest of the world and very quickly move towards that next generation grid and the decarbonisation which is essential to the economy and to the plant.
“It cannot happen fast enough. And it is happening right here.”
Nahi says of the technology that early adopters, those buying the systems now, will “play with it”, but “what we want to get to is a point where people can flick on a switch, and they find it’s cheaper (than current options).