Published on February 12th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown7
German Government May Implement Energy Storage Incentive
February 12th, 2013 by Nicholas Brown
Germany has impressed many with its low cost solar electricity and substantial solar industry growth, both of which are unparalleled, even by countries with more readily available sunlight.
The country which enjoys solar electricity at half the cost of the United States may implement an incentive to encourage the private installation of battery banks to store solar energy.
It should offer this incentive for compressed air (CAES) and other types of energy storage systems too, although, I understand that it wants to concentrate its efforts and resources on batteries to really get the solar battery energy storage industry off the ground, as it concentrated on solar, and made great progress there.
According to Energy Matters, Germany drove down the cost of solar panels during its efforts to increase solar power production. This may be due to increased economies of scale caused by their increased solar panel demand.
They also said that Germany was the first to introduce feed-in tariffs (FIT), which it launched in 1991. The FIT scheme was expanded in 2000, and a seven-fold increase in solar power generating capacity took place within the next five years.
Battery energy storage systems can make solar power completely adjustable and dispatchable. The use of energy storage facilitates the addition of more renewable energy to the electricity grid. Natural gas and hydroelectric power plants can be adjusted to some extent, however, they are not as effective a backup solution as batteries.
After energy storage is implemented: For those that are unsure about the cost of generating additional solar power to charge batteries for use at night (i.e more solar panels), there is actually no net cost (excluding the cost of batteries).
For example, if twice as many solar panels are purchased to achieve this, twice as much electricity is generated, and the cost of the solar panels is twice as much, resulting in the same, exact cost of electricity per kWh. This is because the cost of electricity per kWh is the ratio of the cost of a given solar power plant to the amount of electricity it will generate over its lifetime.