Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath
Sales of residential solar storage systems in Germany are tipped to boom, with new figures projecting roughly 20-fold growth over the next four years.
A study by research outfit EuPD, commissioned by investment body Germany Trade & Invest (GTI), has predicted a nationwide market of 100,000 units by 2018, up from 6,000 last year, citing falling PV prices as the “most significant reason” for this “monumental” commercial growth.
As we wrote last last year, Germany’s “energiewende” has been a big contributor to the 80 per cent fall in the price of solar modules, and the government is now looking at ways to bring down the cost of the next piece in the puzzle of its renewable energy transition – battery storage.
In the first half of 2013, it kicked off a program to finance the introduction of battery storage into homes and small business – a move it has described as absolutely essential for the European nation to successfully achieve, and move beyond, 40 per cent renewable penetration.
Within six months of the program’s launch, 1,900 homes and small businesses had put their hands up for government loans and grants to install battery storage with solar systems at their homes. By November, around €32 million in loans had been allocated and €5 million in grants, about 10 per cent of the sums allocated in the initial phase of the program.
Earlier this month, another EuPD report found that more than two-thirds of German PV installers are now offering energy storage options to their customers, with British and Italian counterparts set to follow suit.
The study also found that Germany had the biggest uptake of household energy storage systems due to the fact that a percentage of storage system costs were paid as a direct subsidy to consumers.
“A battery is the next logical investment for owners of solar power installations and whose systems are coming to the end of their 20 year contract lifetime,” said Tobias Rothacher, senior manager for renewable energies at GTI.
“Most of these systems will still produce electricity even after their 20 year feed-in tariff period.”