Germany plans support for storage

Germany’s environment ministry is planning to introduce a €50m ($66.5m) support scheme for power-storage systems for owners of small- and medium-sized PV installations.

The ministry hopes to issue a directive giving details of the incentive scheme before Easter. It will operate via cheap loans from German development bank KfW, an environment ministry spokesman told Recharge.

“The purpose is to set technological development in motion,” the spokesman said, adding that the ministry wants to find out to what extent such storage systems could help stabilise the power grid.

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said last year that the government intends that only systems linked to the grid will receive the incentive.

The German Solar Industry Association (BSW) welcomed the idea, but managing director Jörg Mayer said state incentives need to be linked to guarantees that storage systems do in practice help to relieve the network.

The BSW points to a study by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, claiming that grid-enabled storage could reduce peak electricity demand by up to 40% and thus boost the capacity of the network.

High levels of PV power entering the grid around midday on sunny days are increasingly having a distorting effect on the market. Due to the complex power-pricing mechanism in Germany, this has the effect of driving up electricity prices for most private consumers.