Crowdfunded start-up prepares for energy storage war with Tesla
A British tech start-up has completed a £700,000 funding round on Crowdcube, to pay for the roll-out of what it claims is the 'UK's first simple and affordable home energy storage system'.
The company, called Powervault, says it will use the new funding to develop a lithium-ion version of the product, to establish new sales channels and to implement a redesign which will cut its manufacturing costs by 20%.
Powervault expects to have sold 10,000 home energy storage systems in three years and 50,000 within five years, by which time it expects them to retail for less than £1000. It can reportedly store up to 10kwh, with an installed price of £2,500 ($4,000).
The battery’s main use is to store energy from rooftop solar panels when the sun is shining, and release it throughout the evening. It can lower household energy bills by up to 15% and saves 0.3 tonnes of carbon a year compared with conventional generation.
Powervault claims its product improves upon Tesla’s much-lauded Powerwall, by providing a complete system in a box, including batteries, charger, inverter and control unit, which can be installed by an electrician in an hour.
“Tesla and other firms are only selling a battery-based partial solution rather than complete home storage systems,” said Powervault in a statement. “They require spending on additional components, are more complicated to install, and are not compatible with all solar systems.”
Powervault plans to partner with solar PV companies to sell systems that store between 2kWh and 4 kWh with an installed price of £2,000 to £2,800.
Powervault managing director Joe Warren said: “This is a state-of-the-art, British designed product which will cut homeowners’ electricity bills, increase their energy security and help the UK cut carbon emissions. We’re already making sales and we aim to be a household name in five years, making a significant impact with products in 50,000 homes around the country.
“Tesla is raising awareness of home energy storage, exciting potential customers and helping to create a market. Their entry into the market demonstrates the scale of the business opportunity, with battery costs falling and up to two million UK homes forecast to have solar panels by 2020."
Auto-giant Mercedes-Benz also recently entered the energy storage market, while the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warned this month that the planet must triple its energy storage capacity by 2030 to smooth the transition to a low-carbon energy system.
A recent report claimed that a grid-scale system of energy storage in the UK would cut the costs of decarbonisation by £3.5bn.
Commenting on Powervault's foray into the emerging energy storage market, former Minister for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker said: “Home energy storage can play a key role in building a low-carbon economy, saving money for homeowners and helping the UK to cut its carbon emissions. Powervault is a British company with a British designed product and it’s great to see them ready to seize the opportunities of this rapidly growing market.”