Solar Energy Storage System Market In Germany Approaching A Boom

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solar energy storage germany panasonicThe solar energy storage system market in Germany is approaching a boom period, according to many analysts, with a rapid uptick in sales likely as the technology enters wider use.

The drive behind this boom is the simple fact that such systems are extremely practical for many people/purposes — most pay themselves off in only a few years, providing yet another way for renewable energy to help cut utility costs for homeowners.

With the recent surge in solar energy in the country — and the achievement of a new record high on May 11, 2014 (15 GW) — the time certainly does seem ripe for a solar energy storage boom.

The systems don’t just benefit the consumer, though. The grid benefits as well.

“Balancing supply with demand in the grid presents operators with a significant challenge and leads to market price fluctuations. That is where storage solutions come into play,” explains Tobias Rothacher, renewable energies manager at Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).

“Many solar installations will have paid for themselves in the next couple of years and some will soon reach the end of their 20-year feed-in tariff contract,” Rothacher, an advisor for international companies planning to invest in Germany, continues.

“With modern and cheaper battery technology now available, these owners are able to store excess power during the day instead of feeding it into the grid at low prices and buying it back at night when it is more expensive. This helps to reduce grid fluctuations and with feed-in tariffs set to fall this summer, it makes even more economic sense.”

EuPD, a leading market research firm, currently expects sales of solar energy storage systems in Germany to rise significantly in the next few years — up to 100,000 units a year in 2018, up from the 6,000 that sold in 2013.

Politicians in the country have begun to take note of his trend — with some even calling it an opportunity for Germany to return to being one of the leading battery manufacturers in the world.

“A number of factors are coming together that will lead to a boom in PV energy storage solutions in Germany,” concludes Rothacher.

According to recent figures from Germany, renewable energy has grown more than nuclear has declined over the last 12-13 years, as well as over the last five years (since the Fukushima accident). “Since 2014 is still a work in progress, we will have to restrict the analysis to the development between 2009 and 2013. For this particular time frame we get a score of 134.9 TWh for nuclear in 2009, which means a decline of 37.6 TWh until 2013… [and] 38.2 TWh of growth for wind and solar from 2009 to 2013. So the nuclear decline lost again, failing to beat the growth of renewable even when ruling out biomass for some reason (another 17.1 TWh growth in those four years).”

Image Credit: Panasonic

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James Ayre

James Ayre'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.

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10 thoughts on “Solar Energy Storage System Market In Germany Approaching A Boom

  • “.. the recent surge in solar energy in the country ..” New installations have slumped (link) to a rate well below Britain’s, and it’s not recovering. The installed base – especially that large part of it put in with FITs below the high retail rate (from roughly mid-2010) – is however big enough for storage to be attractive to large numbers of solar owners. Rothacker’s argument doesn’t stand up. The volume of capacity coming out of 20-year FITs will be tiny until around 2025.

  • If these are the numbers for Germany, I can only imagine what this looks like globally: Holy cow!

    “sales of solar energy storage systems in Germany to rise significantly in the next few years — up to 100,000 units a year in 2018, up from the 6,000 that sold in 2013.”

  • Germany . . . solving the world’s alternative energy problems for over a decade now. The world owes them a hearty “Thank you”.

    • Don’t forget to put the Chinese in there as well.. they make the stuff on a VERY large scale so prices got down to the levels where they need to be and where FossilFuelIndustries couldn’t/can’t intervene 😉

  • What type of storage, lead acid batteries, flow batteries, fuel cells, all of the above?

    • Lithium-ion batteries are the cheapest as they have the best efficiency and the best cycle life and reasonable cost per kWh. Lithium-ion batteries can last as energy storage up to 7000 cycles. This is more than ten years and perhaps closer to 20 years.

    • – LAB is yesterdays tech.. they’re past their glory days.

      – flow batteires.. large scale for sure, they get used for that. But if I was to wager a guess I’d say for small scale (10-200kWh) the tech is not ready yet and might never be if(?) Li-Ion is going to dominate and scale earlier.

      – fuel cells?.. that tech is even worse than flow cell. Everywhere it want’s to be, Li-Ion is already there.

      For home storage in the near future you’re looking at some sort of Li-Ion tech.. most probably LiFePO4. See here for more info on all that’s available (I’m not related to that in any way or form):

  • Germany indeed should cancel the FIT program for roof-top solar power and start subsidizing batteries. Solar panels are already cheap enough in Germany, but today the problem is the storage for solar that still requires subsidies.

    • I thought they are? 4000 systems had been subsidized so far, just not uncapped like with PV.. it’s restricted to xx million euro IMHO

      • I mean that Germany should allocate few hundred billion euros for energy storage solutions! Not few million.

        Also I mean that Germany should stop paying FIT payments for those who have already purchased solar systems with the promise of FIT payments. Instead they can offer battery storage and perhaps some support for interests of original solar panel loan.

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