Germany’s user energy storage subsidy's second phase

With the successful implementation of the first iteration subsidy policy, the next iteration’s goals, new requirements, and the forecast standards it aims to reach.

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics, new PV+storage subsidy plans went into effect on March 1, 2016 and to continue until the end of 2018, has received a total of 30M EUR.

The goal is to strengthen grid flexibility and realize energy storage technology cost reductions. To ease grid pressure/congestion, battery energy storage was given even higher set standards. BESSs receiving funding are permitted to sell half of the PV system’s peak power back to the grid, with the remainder stored temporarily in the battery.

The subsidy’s funding comes from KfW, Germany’s state-owned development bank and provided similar to loans. The Ministry of Economics will strengthen oversight of BESS development, and continue evaluating new plans. In the original subsidy program, KfW had a budget of about EUR 60M, which funded about 19,000 ESSs, stimulating about EUR 450M in total investments.

As of end 2015, over 35,000 homes and commercial operations had installed PV-storage systems. Germany Trade And Invest (GTAI) expects a boom in deployment in 2016-17, reaching annual installation volumes of 50,000 systems by 2020; though other sources from the same organization post a number as high as 100,000 systems installed annually by 2018. The retrofit market will also be quite significant. 

Other entrants - Utilities

One factor to watch in the German market is the actions of utilities. Many have announced or launch their own PV+storage products, as German utility E.ON did recently. E.ON is of particular interest as it is handling the transition to new energy by splitting the company in two, spinning all traditional assets off into a separate company. E.ON is developing its own electricity storage system in partnership with Dresden-based SOLARWATT GmbH, which last year successfully launched an award-winning electricity storage system called MyReserve. The first E.ON models will be rolled out in Germany in a few months and will be available in increasingly larger numbers going forward. The storage devices will employ a modular design, and as such it will be easier to increase capacity in the future. The system will also come with an energy app visualizing the production and consumption for the customer.

Note: In January 2016, E.ON announced a partnership with Samsung SDI for grid and C&I customers.