The Next Big Energy Appliance
We’re witnessing the transformation of electricity generation, storage and usage of electricity in buildings. The “home of the future” will have an appliance that combines an inverter, rooftop solar, battery storage and an EV charger – linked together with easy to use management software.
In August, Tesla implied they are developing such a product. But other companies have been working on similar complete systems — as well as individual components — for years. SolarEdge, Enphase and others for inverters; dozens of solar module manufacturers; multinationals such as GE, Siemens and Schneider for chargers and home electronics; and thousands of software entrepreneurs who hope to create an “app for that.”
Developments of Next Big Energy Appliance are being driven by new technology in solar, battery storage and power electronics. From a consumer’s “demand” perspective, it is becoming increasingly cost effective to generate and store one’s own electricity. And from a utility’s “supply” perspective, the realization is dawning that they cannot maintain their “we generate it so you must buy it” business model.
The challenge is to build a profitable business around this future building energy reality. Can one company dominate the commodity manufacturing of solar panels and batteries to create a complete “home energy appliance” product offering? Or will multiple companies collaborate as they provide pieces of this appliance, integrated by one or more suppliers of electronics and software? For more about the Next Big Energy Appliance, please Listen Up to the Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.