In a number of recent interviews, Fraunhofer CSE’s Executive Director Christian Hoepfner talked about his perspective on remaining barriers for the widespread adoption of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the U.S., the price of energy storage, and grid integration of solar power and other renewable energy sources. The interviews were released in the podcasts of Smart Grid Today, Energy Storage Networks, and Innogy Consulting respectively.

Integration of solar PV with grid-scale energy storage on the National Grid distribution system in SHINES project, Shirley, MA. Photo: Fraunhofer CSE.

Christian emphasized that efficient energy management will not rely on battery storage alone, which is still expensive and whose further cost reduction is hard to predict. The focus of Fraunhofer CSE’s project SHINES, a DOE-funded energy management platform in Shirley, Massachusetts is to integrate solar PV, battery storage and demand management of commercial and industrial facilities. This reduces the required size of battery storage that is needed to manage both large amounts and large ramps in PV power fed into the electric grid and to manage demand and supply.

Christian was also asked about what the ideal solar PV panels would look and feel like to make it easy for any homeowner to go solar. He described Fraunhofer CSE’s legendary Plug and Play PV system with adhesive solar panels, which, in conjunction with an electronic permitting and inspection process drastically reduces the costs usually associated with residential solar. Christian emphasized a similar need to lower soft costs for other energy technologies. A systematic effort to reduce the cost of deployment will increase the ability of grid operators to effectively integrate solar + storage systems in the years to come.

All three podcasts are available at no cost via the following links:

About author
Anne Williams is Fraunhofer CSE's Associate Marketing Manager. She works with the Center’s staff to foster CSE’s business relations and make its activities known to the public.
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