Originally published on the ECOreport
Germany’s rooftops and facades could produce as much 300 GW of electricity. The challenge is storing the energy so that it is not simply dumped on the grid during peak hours. A new paper from Agora Energiewende suggests how Germany could reach 150 GW of solar capacity.
This would seem to contradict current scenarios which state that Germany will not possess 40 GW to 70 GW of storage capacity until 2050 – and that isn’t anywhere near enough to handle the volume being suggested.
The Agora study suggests using sources not mentioned in these scenarios. Their breakthrough year is 2033, at which point it expects to have a capacity of about 193 GW and 426 GWh. The sources are:
- 125 GW – electromobility
- 40 GW – home saving
- 23 GW – the commercial sector
- 5 GW – usually reserved
Coordinating these sources presents a challenge. Left on their own, a large number of household batteries could create a surge on the grid by simultaneously discharging their excess electricity. Similarly, EV owners returning from work may cause a peak in demand when they charge their vehicles.
Thus an overall energy policy is required, with incentives, taxes and regulations to manage distribution bottlenecks.
One of the ideas put forward is using smart meters on streets and in systems over 7 GW.
Another possibility is a “power light” system, in which access to the grid is determined by:
- green light – all clear
- yellow traffic – imminent power shortage
- red light – access denied
Though by no means a blueprint, the paper “Was wäre, wenn… ein flächendeckender Rollout von Solar-Speicher-Systemen stattfände?“ (translation: “What if… there were a nationwide rollout of PV battery systems?”) opens the door to further possibilities.
Technically & Economically Possible
“Scenarios with 150 or 200 gigawatts of photovoltaics in Germany, which were until recently considered by many utterly unrealistic, are technically and economically possible. Rather than focusing on electricity sales, energy businesses will need other products to serve customers who produce and store their own power,” says Dr Patrick Graichen, director of Agora Energiewende.
Top Photo Credit: Roof in preparation for the addition of solar panels. Special mounting tiles replace the normal clay tiles to secure the panels. by Tim Fuller via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License); German electrical production during the first half of 2015. Solar production was 1.0 TWh, or 5.1%, less than 2014 due to bad weather. Wind was up 11.4 TWh. Solar and wind power generators produced 59 TWh in the first half of the year, enough to put them in second position after lignite but ahead of hard coal and nuclear. – Courtesy Fraunhofer; German Solar Power Map About 1.5 million photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 38,2 terawatt are installed in Germany. (strom-report.de/renewable-energy/) from Strom Report via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
Reprinted with permission.
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