There are many benefits to solar power. Not only does it provide a sustainable and resilient source of electricity, it is also has a long life span and requires very little maintenance once installed. The cost per kWh has decreased significantly and new technology advancements make solar energy very attractive for many in regions that have higher than average electricity prices. Furthermore, utility and government rebates and incentives, as well as financing options, expand the viability of solar energy to save money long term, reduce environmental impact and increase resiliency.
Combined heat and power is becoming a more acceptable and cost effective technology in the right application. To maximize the benefit of these systems, it is critical to match the heating requirements to the CHP system. Without the matching, the CHP is little more than a generator operating between 20 and 30% efficiency. However, using the waste heat will boost the efficiency to over 70%! The combined cost for the cogeneration is less than separate utility streams. CHP systems can be used to supplement grid energy or supply 100% of energy needs while also providing needed resiliency.
Battery storage continues to make significant advances in technology and will enhance the reliability of intermittent renewable energy such as solar and wind. The use of battery storage technology today is mainly used to shave peak demand as a cost saving measure. Some utilities are providing significant rebates and incentives for the demand reduction and may be a viable option if the property is subject to high demand pricing. For the future, battery technology is expected to provide utility scale storage to compete with traditional fuel derived energy.