Delivery times and labour shortage hamper German households’ drive for energy autarky
Handelsblatt / Clean Energy Wire
Germans strive for energy independence in droves, but a lack of skilled workers and long delivery times for heat pumps, solar panels and batteries put a break on the energy transition at home, reports business daily Handelsblatt. Waiting times of six months or more between order and installation are becoming increasingly common as demand for green energy solutions is soaring, stoked by the rapid rise of energy prices and fears over supply disruptions because of the war in Ukraine. Regional energy company EnBW said applications for the connection of PV systems have almost doubled from “an already high level” at the start of the year, while German PV firms like SMA Solar, Meyer Burger and Solarwatt plan to double production capacities.
The German heat pump association BWP told Clean Energy Wire that sales rose 30 percent in the first three months of the year compared to a year ago and have increased further since. The lobby group said sales will likely be up around 40 percent in the entire year compared to 2021, when 153,000 heat pumps were installed in the country. But the industry is also plagued by supply chain disruptions affecting electronic components and other parts.
Hydrogen storage specialist HPS Home Power Solutions also reports a “run” on renewable energies, with customers focusing on supply security and an insurance against high energy prices, rather than on profitability. Home batteries are also in high demand, resulting in almost sold-out suppliers and expectations of around 200,000 new installations this year alone, according to the article.