The International PV Equipment Association (IPVEA) and solar research group EuPD have jointly formed a new industry body to represent the emerging solar storage sector.

The International Battery and Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA) is aimed at bringing together companies from the fields of solar energy, energy storage and smart grid technology to cooperate on the development of new renewable energy storage systems.

Markus Hoehner, chief executive of EuPD, said: "A strong, industry-wide alliance of global players like the IBESA is crucial in order to unify the fragmented electrical energy storage and smart grid markets, as well as to prepare and position them sustainably for the future.”

Bryan Ekus, managing director of IPVEA, added: “Our goal is to promote  hotovoltaics and the electrical energy storage market and provide real benefits for our member companies.”

The development of cost-effective storage technologies is seen as vital for the ongoing roll-out of renewable energy, particularly solar.

Recent assessments put the market for solar storage at US$19 billion, as other countries follow the lead being shown by Germany in adopting storage technologies.

Germany has already formed a national energy storage trade body and from next month will be offering a subsidy for PV storage systems.