EUR 22 million remains in grants for German household storage

The German solar industry association, Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft (BSW), has emphasized that there is plenty of grant funding available this year for householders wishing to take advantage of the German government’s energy storage subsidy.

A report last week by pv magazine referred to market research consultancy IHS‘ prediction the subsidy will do for battery storage what the FiT program did for PV uptake in the country.

The BSW has pointed out the €18.7 million (US$24.8 million) which has been taken out from state bank KfW for the 1,100 solar systems already supported in Germany this year, relates to low interest loans for PV systems rather than to the non-repayable grants offered under the storage subsidy.

Of the €25 million made available by the German government to fund non repayable grants to reduce the cost of PV storage systems installed as part of new PV systems, only around €3.3 million has been claimed so far.

With a further €50 million predicted to be made available under the storage subsidy next year, applicants hoping to reduce the costs of household storage systems have been urged by the BSW to come forward and apply for the scheme.

Household self consumption to become the norm

Under the subsidy program, householders intending to install a storage system may do so if the PV system it relates to is no larger than 30kWp. For qualifying systems, applicants can claim a non refundable grant of up to €600 per kWp off the cost of the accompanying storage system with a maximum of no more than 30 per cent of the storage system costs.

IHS research manager Sam Wilkinson said the popular subsidy, together with falling storage system costs and a decreasing FiT – in tandem with rising conventional electricity prices – add up to self consumption becoming the preferred option for homeowners rather than generating electricity for the grid in return for FiT payments.

With Japan offering a similar storage subsidy for lith-ion based residential systems and California subsidizing ‘advanced energy storage’ in systems up to 3 MW, IHS is predicting energy storage will be worth $9 billion in revenue by 2013.

The consultancy says residential systems will dominate the German energy storage market with 30 MW already supported by the subsidy since its launch four months ago.