In the first seven months of this year, the German development bank KfW has supported 35% more solar energy storage projects than in the same period in 2014. Since the German federal government's launch of the PV storage system support program in 2013, more than 12,000 PV storage systems have been installed.
The German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) states the main reasons for this uptake as the sharp drop in storage product prices, attractive incentives, and the customers' desire to reduce independence on energy utilities. In total there are approximately 25,000 solar power storage solutions in operation, with almost two-thirds of the systems in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
"For more and more consumers and businesses, solar power storage is becoming an indispensable element of self-generation. It allows a large percentage of self-generated solar electricity to be self-consumed, guarantees energy supply security and stable electricity prices," says Carsten Körnig, Chief Executive of BSW-Solar. Numerous studies also confirm the positive contribution of distributed battery storage for the German Energiewende. This way the development of new storage solutions with the relatively consistent grid expansion, for example, can increase the amount of solar power integration. "Everything points in the direction of a solar power storage demand increase in the coming years," adds Körnig.
Solar power from one's own roof costs only half as much as power from utilities. But while solar PV systems produce the most electricity during noon at lunchtime, many households see a peak in demand particularly in the evenings and in the mornings. Therefore, storage solutions can help tap into affordable solar power when it is needed. This way, self-generated solar power can be used when needed in the evenings for example.
The KfW is supporting PV and storage installations with low-interest loan offers. Moreover, up to 30% of the setup costs can qualify for repayment bonus. Retrofitted storage solutions are also supported, but the PV systems should not have come into operation before January 1, 2013. The support program will carry on at least until the end of the year as a KfW spokesperson confirmed to pv magazine.
BSW-Solar recommends that the photovoltaic-storage pass be utilized for quality assurance. This form which has to be filled out by developers was developed by BSW-Solar and the Central Association of the German Electrical and Information Technology Industry, or ZVEH to ensure that the right information is given for proper installation. The KfW accepts the storage pass as proof of a proper storage installaion.
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