Solar Energy Storage: A time with Graeme Sharp

Intersolar Middle East exhibition, conference and Global solar Leaders’ Summit will be held in Dubai from 19th to 21st September this year in Dubai World Trade Centre, NEW Za’abeel Hall 6. The exhibition, conference and summit will bring together stakeholders and businesses within the solar sector to partake in several activities and workshops towards expanding solar within the Middle East and North Africa region – thus connecting solar business. Ahead of the Global Solar Leaders’ Summit and the Intersolar Middle East, Graeme Sharp – Head of Smart Energy Advisory, DNV GL shared his views on energy storage in regards to the solar sector with African Business Magazine and

Storage has been a very important issue for customers and other stakeholders in solar business. According to Graeme, “The incorporation of storage with solar can provide significant additional value dependent upon the characteristics of the connected system in terms of constraints, ancillary services and pricing regimes.

This applies to storage co-located with a solar farm or customer PV installations.” To further his explanations, he highlighted that there is a likelihood that features of the connected system and wholesale/retail arrangements will require even greater flexibility over time.

However, this will be dependent upon the rates of penetration of renewable energy generation and customer reaction to market messages, and these factors will vary by the jurisdictional driving forces in any given region and also the rate of fall in the costs of storage.

There are currently a number of challenges to the development and deployment of solar plus storage. Significantly, Graeme Sharp, mentioned that the biggest barrier to solar-plus-storage at the moment is identifying the optimum “value-stacking” arrangements for any given installation that may have site-specific and market-specific considerations.

He further suggested that in many jurisdictions, there may be benefits which the storage device could provide to the electricity network, which are not currently remunerated. To overcome the existing challenges facing the development of solar plus storage, Graeme said “Expert consideration of the value opportunities and site specific sizing and installation arrangements is necessary. As storage costs continue to fall, this challenge remains, but will be achievable for more sites.”

As solar storage is a subject of interest to most stakeholders, it is important to have an expert’s idea of some of the best storage system producers while also looking at how best stakeholders can penetrate the solar market. Again, Graeme mentioned that for stakeholders to improve their chances of penetrating the solar market, focus for storage players should be targeted at addressing the market opportunities for “value-stacking” based on appropriate storage technology, sizing and operational characteristics selection for any given site.

“There are a significant number of storage system manufacturers and developers seeking to exploit formative opportunities that will undoubtedly lead to significant volumes of installations. Investors are also very keen to pursue this market and technology innovation.

DNV GL are at the forefront of solar installations, storage technologies and market arrangements to provide the necessary combinations of skill sets and knowledge to service all the necessary stages of investment, build and operation; and have well established relationships with financiers active in this opportunity,” Greame explained.

An example of DNV GL’s leadership is the GRIDSTOR recommended practice, produced in conjunction with a group of leading industry players, and available from their website at

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