As the global solar market soars — expanding 29.3% in just 2017, with over 98.9 gigawatts of new capacity — people are turning to solar energy storage more and more. But why is this market increasing so much? Why is storage so important? Let’s take a brief look at this factor to get an idea of what you can expect in the upcoming years and decades.

The Demand for Solar Energy Increases

In the last eight years, solar energy has ranked first or second in new electrical capacity additions. This term indicates new sources of power added to the grid each year. Solar, wind, and other types of alternative energy continue to thrive in the face of traditional options. For example, in 2020, about 43% of all new capacity came from solar: the largest such solar increase ever.

While there’s still a long way to go for solar energy to become dominant, the path is being laid. There was a nearly 400% increase in this power source between 2010 (from 0.1% of all U.S. energy to about 4% in 2020), with rapid increases likely to continue in the future. So, what is solar energy storage, and how will this impact the development of new energy options?

Why Storage Matters

Storage systems are essential for solar energy because they store the extra energy earned during the day in batteries that can be tapped at night or during cloudy days. A growing number of systems are integrating storage and are being paired with them during installation. Estimates state that about 25% of all behind-the-meter solar systems will have storage systems, compared to just 6% in 2020

These storage systems will be critical for residential, commercial, and industrial markets. For instance, 24/hour stores or restaurants can draw upon their stored energy at night to cut back on their grid-based power. Large sectors of the residential market could also thrive with this storage capacity. As storage panels and storage improve, you’re likely going to see a lot more solar panels in your neighborhood.

But are solar panels and solar energy storage right for you? The only way to know for sure is to talk to local solar experts and ask them what to expect with your system. These professionals will make it easier for you to understand your solar needs and minimize any complex issues you may experience.