Energy Storage Industry

Testing fuel cells | © ZBT GmbH Duisburg

Energy Storage Industry

Energy storage systems are an integral part of Germany’s Energy Transition (Energiewende). While the need for energy storage is growing across Europe, Germany remains the lead target market and the first choice for companies seeking to enter this developing industry. It stands out as a unique market, development platform and export hub.

Germany Trade & Invest helps open up a vista of opportunities for companies looking to cooperate with German partners, become involved in demonstration projects, and expand through direct investment.

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Latest Publication

Fact Sheet Energy Storage Market in Germany | © GTAI The Energy Storage Market in Germany

Due to Germany's ambitious energy transition (Energiewende) project, the German energy storage market has experienced a massive boost in recent years...



markets Germany - Issue 02/2016 | © GTAI Recharge your Batteries

With the unveiling of Tesla’s Powerwall, global media has woken up to the potential of combining domestic photovoltaic systems with battery storage. Yet in Germany the revolution is already well underway. Read more

Market

Germany is a front-runner in the development of renewable energies. Renewables now produce around 33% of the electricity consumed in Germany. Following the goals of the German government, renewable energy share is to be increased to at least 80% of electricity consumption by 2050. Energy storage systems will play a fundamental role in integrating renewable energy into the energy infrastructure and help maintain grid security by compensating for the enormous increase of fluctuating renewable energies. Germany’s geographical makeup places significant restrictions on the possibility of developing new pumped storage capacity. This makes the use of new storage technologies and smart grids an imperative.

Testimonial Bolt Battery Company Limited

Simon Hui, Director Bolt Battery Company Limited | © Bolt Battery Company Limited/GTAI

“Germany is the global leader in energy storage technology for renewable energy systems. The country has high engineering standards and favorable government policy. With the help and expertise of GTAI, Bolt has been able to connect with the best strategic partners and expand into Germany and Europe.” (2016)

Small Battery Systems

More than 1.5 million solar power plants with a total capacity of 40 GWp (2015) have been installed in Germany over the past 25 years. The majority are solar power plants with a capacity of smaller than 10 kWp installed on residential rooftops. They build the foundation for the promising market development of small energy storage systems. Up until 2015, around 35,000 households and commercial operations in Germany had already invested in a PV-battery system. Experts expect the market to be ready for a massive deployment of energy storage systems by 2016/2017. According to our research, PV-battery systems could reach an annual installation volume of around 50,000 systems by 2020. Retrofit storage installations will also be a major driver for improving energy self-sufficiency in private households and commercial operations.

The federal government offers unique incentives for PV-battery system investment. The KfW state-owned bank supports the acquisition of PV-connected storage with grid connection and data management systems (battery alone or in combination with a new PV system). The level of support is dependent on the size of the PV system and the cost for the storage system.

Spotlight: Solar Thermal Energy and Heat Storage
As Europe’s largest solar thermal market, Germany is looking beyond established residential applications. An emerging market for solar industrial process heat and district heating offers opportunities for players testing new business models. In the residential market, thermal storage is becoming an important buffer enabling increasing shares of renewables (solar thermal, PV, heat pumps, and biomass) to be effectively used on site.

Large Battery Systems

To integrate the large amounts of wind and solar energy safely into the existing grid, large battery systems will play an import role in Germany’s future energy infrastructure. These are well suited to providing control power to stabilize grid frequency. At present, a number of public and private initiatives in Germany are cooperating on the development of energy storage technologies. Several demonstration projects have been put in operation. Companies can find a large pool of potential partners to optimize their technology and move it towards commercialization. Europe’s first commercial battery storage system went online in Germany in September 2014. The 5 megawatt lithium-ion unit is actively taking part in the primary frequency regulation market. Further privately financed projects are announced and in the pipeline.

Testimonial TOTAL Deutschland GmbH

Hans-Christian Gützkow, Geschäftsführer, TOTAL Deutschland GmbH | © TOTAL Deutschland GmbH/GTAI

“Germany is paramount to Total as Europe’s largest energy market. Our chemical arm also has production sites on location in Germany, especially as a supplier for the automobile industry. And last but not least, Germany is an important location for the solar power branch of Total, Sunpower, in Germany’s position as the leading market in renewable energies.” (2014)

Green Hydrogen and Power-to-Gas Technology

Hydrogen and power-to-gas technologies occupy a prominent place in the long-term energy storage plans and future mobility and fuel strategy of the German Government. Surplus energy from fluctuating renewable sources can be stored as hydrogen gas in the extensive German gas grid by means of electrolysis. As a participant in the power-control market it serves to stabilize grid frequency and optimize grid usage. The introduction of power-to-gas technologies is an inevitability as the German government seeks to meet its climate targets and reduce primary energy demand in the transportation sector. These goals include a 40% reduction of energy consumption in the transport sector and GHG emission reductions of 80% until 2050. Substantial reductions of power demand and emissions in transportation are only achievable with high fuel-demand coverage with power-to-gas in combination with electrification of the drive-train (battery and fuel cell electric engines). Plans to promote the expansion of nationwide hydrogen infrastructure are under way.

The power-to-gas technology creates investment potential along the entire supply chain: from long-term storage, production and trading to electrolyzer production, gas compression, and smart gas metering amongst other things. Within Europe, Germany alone has the majority of European fuel cell and hydrogen technology demonstration projects. Thanks to internationally recognized certification institutions, the large number of players, and regional and international activities, Germany is developing and setting tomorrow’s global technical framework and standards.


Power to Gas - Demonstration Projects and H2 Filling Stations in Germany | Germany Trade and Invest

Testimonial Ballard Power Systems - Michael Goldstein, CCO

Michael Goldstein, CCO Ballard Power Systems | © Ballard Power Systems/GTAI

"Ballard Power Systems has been putting fuel cell products to work in applications throughout the European Union. The expertise we found at Germany Trade and Invest has led us to the best matched partners and investment opportunities in the German marketplace." (2011)

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