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07 Apr 2020, 13:21
Rachel Waldholz

Battery storage systems see major growth in Germany - study

Clean Energy Wire

Battery storage systems have seen major growth in Germany over the past several years, with sales for stationary battery storage systems surpassing pumped (hydro) storage for the first time in 2018. But the market for battery storage remains young, and prices and capacity can be hard to assess. That’s the conclusion of a new overview of Germany’s battery storage market published in the Journal of Energy Storage. The study was conducted by researchers with JARA-ENERGY, a collaboration between Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University. The researchers found that most stationary battery storage systems in Germany are purchased as part of photovoltaic solar systems for homes. A total of 125,000 home storage systems (HSS) had been installed in Germany by the end of 2018, with a combined battery capacity of 930 megawatt-hours (MWh), roughly equivalent to a medium-sized pumped storage plant. The study was not yet able to assess the total capacity of industrial storage systems (ISS). But Germany has also seen a significant increase in large-scale storage systems (LSS), used primarily for grid stabilization. In 2018, the country had 59 LSS with a total capacity of 550 MWh. Both the HSS and LSS markets are dominated by lithium-ion batteries, which have seen prices drop by more than 50 percent in recent years, the researchers reported. In 2018, the cost of lithium-ion technology had fallen to around 1,150 euros/kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the HSS market and 800 euros/kWh in the LSS market, the study found. "The data situation regarding stationary battery storage has been rather patchy up to now,” said Martin Robinius of Forschungszentrum Jülich in a press release. “We have combined data from various studies and databases, thus creating a solid database for current and future studies, which will be updated once a year.”

Germany's rapidly rising share of weather-dependent renewable energy has made the country a testbed for storage technologies. Improving power storage capacity is seen as vital to the expansion of Germany’s renewable energy sources and the planned phase-out of both nuclear and coal power.

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