German Energy Storage Market Could Decrease Due To Funding Loss

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It was predicted that up to 16,000 energy storage systems could be installed in Germany during 2015. However, an incentive program for battery storage there which started up in 2013 was set to cease operations on the last day of the same year. It was therefore expected that the German energy storage market growth would contract in 2016, and significantly. Surveyed German consumers expressed reservations over the extra cost of energy storage on top of what they would pay for a solar power system.

berlin2006“These concerns might increase in light of the expiring KfW funding. The issue of the funding is obviously much discussed these days. Our head of economics Mr. Martin Ammon has calculated that in 2016 storage market growth will drop to 13 per cent,” explained a spokesperson for a company named EuPD Research.

Wolfram Schweickhardt, a KfW spokesperson, said 5,000 energy storage + solar systems were installed in 2013 (when government funding for energy storage systems started), 9,000 were installed in 2014, and 15,000–16,000 would be installed in 2015.

In fact, energy storage and renewable energy are very complementary, so it is only reasonable that a government that supports solar and wind power might provide incentives for the adoption of energy storage, too.

An energy storage and management project in a region of German is receiving tens of millions of Euros to make the local grid more intelligent and to provide support for renewable energy there.

“The success of the energy turnaround will entirely depend on integrating electricity from renewable sources into our energy system on a reliable, permanent basis. The energy system needs to become more flexible overall, and solar and wind power generation must be more decoupled from grid feed-in. Energy storage technologies have a major part to play here. Through this new programme we’re helping to bring small energy storage units onto the market and improve their market penetration, so that prices should fall as their use increases,” said Dr Axel Nawrath, a KfW Bankengruppe Executive Board member.

It’s fascinating to see Germany getting ahead of many other nations in the areas of renewable energy and energy storage, and how that is playing out. It would also be intriguing to find out if anyone has done an ROI analysis to determine the effectiveness of the KfW program — specifically, to see how much it did or did not help seed the energy storage market for the years it was in operation and afterwards.

Image Credit: Kid Alex, Wiki Commons

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Jake Richardson

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