German PV battery storage market: an example to follow?Ilumen
The German PV market is often described as a predecessor of the situation in Belgium. Therefore, it is interesting to focus on the evolution of residential battery storage solutions in Germany during the last years.
The German Federal Ministry of Economics has taken measures to incentivize residential battery storage solutions. However, the promotion was stopped by the end of 2015. By way of justification, the Ministry stated that the aim of the program was to push the market development of stationary battery storage systems, to accelerate their technology development, and to reduce costs to make PV and battery storage more interesting to consumers.
A well-founded decision? “Since May 2013 a verifiable cost-cutting process for PV storage solutions has taken place in Germany”, explains Mr. Martin Ammon of EuPD Research. “With a market volume of around 30.000 newly installed PV storage systems between May 2013 and December 2015 this market cannot yet be described as a mass market. Approximately every second system will have made use of the governmental promotion scheme.”
Which influence the decision of the German government will exercise on future market growth? “We still expect a growing German market for solar storage solutions over the coming years”, Ammon continues. “Current calculations of EuPD Research predict a growth rate of 13% in 2016 compared to 2015. Though, the decision of the German government will have a negative effect on the market development. It is a wrong signal to a growing market and its market players, including manufacturers, wholesalers, installers as well as the end customer. Investment costs for new storage systems are still high. Reducing these costs could be reached by higher automation in mass production. ”
Will there be a shift away from the residential market towards large scale storage systems? “Investments in large storage solutions could already be noticed for some years in Germany”, explains Ammon. “Here grid applications had priority. This means, that storage solutions were installed for use in the balancing energy market. Larger storage systems for self-consumption in the commercial segment are facing the problem of EEG levy payments on self-consumed PV-electricity. In case of innovative solutions such as local shared storage systems, they are confronted with unclear or restrictive legal frameworks.”
“Until solar storage, as well as other applications cannot rely on a binding regulatory base, no business models can be created. The German government is now called upon for developing a legal framework for storage systems to make business models assessable and investments possible”, Ammon concludes.
Source: EES Magazine