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Published on May 18th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Germany’s Residential Battery Storage Subsidy A Success — 4,000 New Systems In 1st Year

May 18th, 2014 by  

Germany solar panels & flag via Shutterstock

It’s been just a year since Germany began offering a subsidy for residential lithium-ion battery systems. In that time, already more than 4,000 new solar+battery systems have been installed.

The figures — which show the subsidy to be a success — were recently released by Germany’s Federal Solar Industry Association (BSW Solar).

Along with the figures, BSW Solar also noted that it expects demand to climb even higher this year. Other interesting stats include the fact that nearly €66 million (US$90.82 million) in low-interest loans were distributed by the development bank over the course of the year, and that about €10 million (US$13.76 million) was given out in grants.

According to the association’s managing director, Jorg Mayer, the primary reason for the high demand is that people were increasingly “looking to become independent of fossil fuels and to bring investments in their homes in line with Germany’s wider energy transition (‘Energiewende’).”

Mayer also notes that it is possible to get subsidies for a retrofit of an existing system, just that the PV system needs to have been installed after December 2012.

In related news, Germany just recently hit a nearly 75% renewable power market share (a new record). This happened on May, 11, 2014, right around noon — to be exact.

While that milestone is, on its own, quite notable, another, perhaps more important, milestone was also hit recently — during the first quarter of 2014, renewable energy supplied 27% of Germany’s total electrical demand. Big numbers. And ones that will continue to grow as the country continues pursuing its renewable energy goals.

Image: Germany solar panels & flag via Shutterstock

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • moixa – maslow

    Hi, this is all good news, but we’re keen to get this from thousands to millions of homes including urban homes, so have designed one of the most compact wall mounted PV or night storage systems, at http://www.meetmaslow.com, from 2KWh in a 50x30cm unit.


  • Christophe

    Well that’s what I have been doing with my DIY ESS for more than a year now 🙂 Storing my solar unused energy into lifepo4 batteries for later use and peaks … http://www.diyesskit.com
    My 5kWh storage system cost me 3k€, and that is only 1,7€ to add to double the capacity, using top of the line CALB cells, good for 20 years or 7000 cycles 🙂
    I am now working on another version of it, using LEAF battery modules made by AESC, and Enphase Micro Inverters …

  • Others

    Wonderful. They popularized Wind first, solar next and now the storage which is the ultimate solution for renewable energy.

    Hope they also jump into EV segment soon with vehicles like BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-up.

    • LookingForward

      Uhmm, the Dutch popularized wind, ever heard of windmills 😛

  • heinbloed

    The 4,000 PV-storage systems reported from Germany are the subsidised systems installed since since last year.
    Only the subsidised systems are counted in this list.

    Between 25% and 50% of installed systems get the subsidy, the other don’t bother to claim any subsidies and are therfore not listed.

    So double or triple this number of 4,000 storge systems installed since last year.

    The magazine Sonne Wind und Waerme reportedon it and asked manufacturers and installers and published this results in their April 2013 edition:


    Someone placed this article in the www:


    (all in German language, sorry)

    The optimistic expectation by the researched German installers and manufacturers is to have 100,000 storage systems up and running by the end of 2015.
    But this includes also foreign countries like for example Austria, the Benelux, Switzerland and Italy where storage makes economic sense due to high electricity prices.
    In these countries commercial electricity consumers pay a higher rate than in Germany, electricity storage of self-made electricity makes economical sense for them.

    • heinbloed

      The market research by Sonne,Wind und Waerme was published this April 2014

    • “…or example Austria, the Benelux, Switzerland and Italy where storage makes economic sense due to high electricity prices.”

      In The Netherlands (60% of the Benelux), there is a net metering law up to 5000 kWh/year. Battery storage systems do not make economic sense for households.

      • heinbloed

        The Dutch batteries would be installed for commercial reasons with PV-plants larger than 10 kW I assume.
        5,000 kWh aren’t much for medium-large consumers.

      • LookingForward

        uhmm, that law was changed 1/2 years ago to unlimited net-metering, but that was voluntary for the utility I believe, don’t know if it’s changed again?

  • JamesWimberley

    The scheme is working, after a rocky start. Householders were put off by the red tape of applying for a direct cash grant, compared to the connect-and-file simplicity off the FIT. It is small; the subsidy budget is capped at AFAICT €65 million. Germany is not taking on the role for storage that it assumed for pv panels, a first mover big enough to bring prices down for the world.

    The country to watch for home storage is Australia. It has lots of sun, a a large installed residential pv base, and negligible direct support – but high retail electricity prices create a strong incentive for self-consumption, even going off-grid.

  • Drevney

    Does anyone know about the costs?

    How much is it cost with/without subsidy to install home storage unit? How much electricity does a typical family use in a single evening? Is it likely to supply individual family demand with its rooftop panels? In summer? In winter? How much solar space one family need for it?

    27% renewables in Germany winter? Shouldn’t that be much higher in the Summer?

    • Cosette

      Solar electricity and storage in the residential sector in Germany


      [in french … look at charts]

    • heinbloed

      There are different systems with a wide range of capacities available.
      Here the product of a market leader in Germany:


      Contact them directly.
      And check your local electricians, as said: there is a huge variety available. With and without subsidies,complete systems or batteries on their own.

    • Ulenspiegel

      27% refers to the energy demand (kWh), not power (kW). Wind works better in winter, so the number is ok, but includes biomass.

      Homestorage systems are in the 10000-15000 EUR range (~10 kWh), an avarage family consumes 12 kWh electricity per day, 4000 kWh per year.

      A typical roof-top PV system is in the range 5-10 kW(p), it produces 4500-11000 Kwh per year, therefore, with a storage system a household can covers its demand ~8 months per year (March-November). 50% of the production has to be sold.

    • LookingForward

      No, Germany’s wind capacity is about as high as it’s solar capacity, total wind/solar production will be higher in winter then summer, because there is way more wind in winter during a full 24 hour day, then there is sun in the summer. Though there is also more wind in the summer then there is sun in the winter, it’s not enough to compensate total production.

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