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With energy consumption rising and electricity rates increasing, there is an urgent need to prioritize sustainable energy at present. Surging energy demand poses ideal conditions for the decrease in the costs of solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS) due to an upturn in production and ancillary market drivers further lowering costs.

The case for sustainable energy

The case for embracing sustainable energy has never been greater due to rising electricity rates, increased energy demand, and the pressing need to combat climate change. The convergence of multiple factors, such as lower solar and battery energy storage prices, greater production, and the growing influence of electric vehicles (EVs) provides an unprecedented opportunity to transition to a cleaner, more resilient energy landscape.

As electricity costs continue to increase, they generate financial strain for consumers, businesses, and governments alike. Continuous dependence on traditional, fossil fuel-based energy-generating systems, and volatility in fuel prices [1], are to blame for these rising costs. Additionally, the growing global population and rapid urbanization are contributing to rising energy demand, putting further strain on the current energy infrastructure.

Despite these challenges, solar and battery energy storage system (BESS) technologies have been catalysts for creating momentous change. Advances in photovoltaic technology, economies of scale, and efficient production processes have resulted in notable cost reductions in solar power. This downward, trending trajectory in costs is projected to continue as the sector expands and allocates resources to research and development.

Bar graph showing the volume-weighted average lithium-ion battery pack and cell price split 2013-2022 measured in dollar prices per kWh. Graph shows 2022 prices are 20% of the 2013 baseline.

The Role of EVs as Market Drivers

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming a driving force in the energy industry, bringing about transformative changes. Governments across the globe are actively promoting the transition to electric transportation to curb carbon emissions, resulting in a significant surge in EV sales [2]. This surge in EV adoption is not only advantageous for achieving decarbonization goals, but it also plays a pivotal role in reducing the prices of solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS). The increasing demand for EVs stimulates the production of batteries, leading to economies of scale and cost efficiencies. This positive ripple effect extends to the renewable energy market, making energy storage solutions more accessible and affordable.

By embracing solar power and investing in battery energy storage systems (BESS), public and private sectors can mitigate the economic burden associated with increasing electricity prices and foster a cleaner, more sustainable future. These viable investments foster energy independence, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance resilience in the face of natural disasters and the growing unpredictability of weather patterns.

The current decrease in costs for solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS) presents a tangible opportunity to transition to cleaner, cost-effective energy systems. By capitalizing on market drivers like electric vehicles (EVs), we can expedite the adoption of sustainable energy and build a future that is economically, environmentally, and socially profitable. It is vital for public, private, and government sectors to seize this opportunity to actively reshape a world powered by clean and renewable energy sources.

How Best to Embrace Sustainable Energy

To effectively embrace sustainable energy, current energy usage must be examined first. Note significant increases in energy use and high demand charges as they can be indicators of beneficial sustainable energy solutions. An energy audit is the most effective way to understand an organization’s energy use trends and areas of improvement. With this information, educated judgments can be made about which sustainable energy solutions are most beneficial.

Additionally, it is valuable to explore and consider different incentives that exist to encourage sustainability. Numerous utility companies, state governments, and federal programs provide financial benefits such as grants, tax breaks, and/or rebates to organizations that embrace sustainable energy methods. These incentives serve to alleviate the expenses associated with adopting sustainable energy practices.

Another important aspect to consider is the feasibility of producing renewable energy on-site for your organization. Solar panels and wind turbines offer opportunities to generate clean energy where it is most needed. To assess whether this option is practical, take into account factors like available resources, space limitations, and the expected return on investment. By generating your own renewable energy, you can reduce your dependence on the power grid, lower energy costs and expenses, and play a role in building a more sustainable future.

Lastly, it is advisable to collaborate with industry experts when adopting sustainable energy solutions. Energy professionals, engineers, and sustainability consultants possess specialized expertise and practical experience that can offer invaluable insights, feasibility assessments, and assistance in designing and implementing tailored sustainable energy solutions for your organization. By leveraging their knowledge, you can make well-informed decisions that maximize the benefits of sustainable energy technologies.

By following these steps, your organization can successfully harness the power of sustainable energy. This not only benefits the environment but also yields long-term cost savings and bolsters your organization’s reputation as a leader in sustainability practices.

[1] Lazard. (2021). Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis – Version 14.0.

[2] International Energy Agency. (2022). Global EV Outlook 2022.

Kyle Royal

Sr. Director of Business Development

Kyle is responsible for business development activities for Hitachi’s Environment Business Division in North America. Previously, he has held roles as an engineering and program manager, including at AT&T and Atlas Copco. He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Emory University.