Is it right time to for go off-grid solar to businesses?
The falling prices in the solar as well as energy storage has brough the debate to a point where we need to evaluate whether we have reached to grid parity in case of solar_+ emnergy storage. The Discoms are gradually withdrawing the net metering facility to the businesses due to their business loss. Grid reiability has also significantly reduced and the busimnesses have to install the power back up solutions such as Diesel generators. In case of IT sector the UPS is also required to be installed by the companies. Traditionally it has been assuumed that solar is not a viable alternative for a reliable power supply. However the advent of Li Ion batteries has made it possible to have MWH scale energy storage containerised solutions which can reduce the businesses dependency on the conventional DG sets as power back up. As solar + energy storage cost has fallen significantly, the companies are looking to go fully off grid and manage their energy demand through a combination of solar + energy storage and back up DG sets. This priovides a complete 24X7dispatchable combination for reliable energy supply to the businesses. If we consider the solar + energy storage with the grid tariff, it is cheaper in the countries such as Africa where the grid tariff is still about 15-20 Cents/kWh.
The recent cost reduction in energy storage and solar PV has led to a point when the business can procure third party installation cheaper as compared to the grid electricity suopply. The energy storage + Solar PV is a good option for the businesses with medium scale electricity demand. While current energy storage price is of the order of $ 250/kWh, as per bloomberg, the prices are expected to fall to the tune of $ 180/kWh by 2025.