Maturing and more affordable storage technology promises to “revolutionise” the UK solar PV market, according to a panel at today’s Solar Finance and Investment Conference.

Ray Noble, consultant to the Renewable Energy Association, said that while some storage technologies were 10 to 20 years away from being realised, technological advancements in lithium ion batteries – driven largely by the automobile sector – had meant that storage batteries for residential installations could be affordable within two or three years.

The timeline fits well with projections conducted by industry analysts, with IHS having previously forecast grid-connected energy storage installations to surpass 6GW in 2017, almost treble the 2GW+ estimate for 2015.

At present a lithium ion battery holding enough storage for an average three-bedroom home is expected to cost between £2,500 to £4,000, however Noble expects this to be reduced by half within three years, making them a viable option for residential installers.

“The market will open up as prices come down, [business] models will change and different business models will come into play,” Noble said.

And Noble was backed up by Belectric business development and finance manager Paul Camp, also sitting on the panel, who said that storage volume would “explode” with more technologies soon coming on stream.

However Noble warned that storage and connection technologies would need a series of guidelines for installers to adhere to, with the Institute of Engineering and Technology set to introduce a storage code of practice in approximately 15 months.

Simon Turner, director and co-founder of technical consultancy firm OST Energy, added that the UK was currently behind in its storage expertise and would have to gain experience from European countries if it is to catch up.