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18650 lithium-ion battery Testing Batteries | © © GettyImages/nevodka

Energy Storage

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.

Germany stands out as a unique market, development platform and export hub for energy storage systems. 

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.


Germany is a front-runner in the development of renewable energies. Renewables now produce around 36% 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.

Small and Commercial Battery Systems

Around 1.7 million solar power plants with a total capacity of approximately 45 GWp (2017) have been installed in Germany over the past 25 years. Around 1,000,000 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.

Every second newly installed residential PV-system is combined with an energy storage system to increase the amount of own-consumed PV electricity. Up until late 2018, around 120,000 households and commercial operations in Germany had already invested in a PV-battery system. 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. Only 8 percent of rooftop PV systems in Germany are equipped with a battery today – by 2030 it could be well over 80 percent.

In addition to increasing own-consumption of PV electricity, batteries are increasingly used for multiple beneficial purposes

  • Electricity companies are offering new tariff and service models for PV-batteries, such as electricity flat rates.
  • Residential PV-batteries are interconnected into swarms to perform grid-services and generate additional income.
  • The provision of control power is a viable income stream for commercial batteries.
  • Commercial enterprises benefit from optimized load-profiles with their battery to decrease electricity costs and save grid fees.


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, several demonstration and commercial projects have been put in operation. Companies can find a large pool of potential partners to optimize their technology and move it towards commercialization. At the end of 2018, Germany sees a cumulated capacity of around 400 MW of large-scale battery projects.

Testimonial TOTAL Deutschland GmbH

Hans-Christian Gützkow, Geschäftsführer, 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)

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