Study documents distributed storage for PV in Germany

Since a loans and repayment programme was launched in Germany, 4,000 solar battery buyers have been awarded a total of EUR66 million of low-interest loans and grants of over 10 million euros.

But it is not yet fully clear, as pointed out by the European Energy Review website, whether the programme, launched in May of 2013, will have a lasting positive impact on the German solar industry.
German solar
The state development bank KfW grants a low-interest loan for the purchase of combined photovoltaic and solar-power storage systems or for retrofitting an existing solar-power installation with a storage system.

German PV and energy management companies have sold around 15,000 decentralized battery systems, 6,500 of which have been purchased using the subsidy.

Although the state may cover up to 30 per cent of the loan, in 2013 more than half of the available monies went untouched.

A study of 13 European firms conducted by the magazine Sonne Wind & Wärme, has found that Sonnenbatterie led the field having sold 2,500 transportable intelligent lithium storage systems in 2013-14, mostly in Germany.

About 85 per cent of the units sold were the more traditional and substantially cheaper lead-acid batteries; while 15 per cent were the newer lithium-ion-based models, which are more expensive but also tout more capacity.

Not only can lithium-ion batteries store more power while requiring less space, they can be charged and discharged more frequently than lead-acid batteries. The prices of the systems range from 6,000 to 30,000 euros, depending on size, model, producer, and type. Most of the investors were households, followed by small businesses.

Critics say the bureaucracy required to obtain the credit is unnecessarily complicated and that new laws in Germany that will tax self-consumption have put a damper on PV sales.

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