Germany’s Home Battery Sales Charging Up

Home batteries in Germany

The pandemic, supply chain issues and increasing production and raw material costs didn’t put a dampener on Germany’s home battery storage market last year – and this year is also shaping up to be a corker.

Germany’s Energy Storage Association (BVES) has released industry figures for 2021 and a forecast for 2022, indicating 4 billion euros in sales last year for the household market segment – that’s around AUD $5.83 billion at current exchange rates.

An estimated 430,000 home energy storage systems had been installed in Germany by the end of 2021, up 50% on the total number of systems at the end of 2020. BVES says the expectation is the 500,000 mark (~4,400 MWh capacity) will be crossed this month, and the total could hit 730,000 systems by year’s end; up 67% on 2021.

“The 500,000 home storage systems are not only a great result for the industry, but also a clear signal that energy storage systems are and must be an essential part of the new energy system based on renewable energy,” said (translated) BVES Managing Director Urban Windelen.

Home storage systems are also getting bigger, up from an average 6.8kWh capacity in 2017 to 8.8kWh last year.

The report presented by BVES, prepared by 3Energie Consulting, indicates resilience, self-sufficiency, security of supply and high energy prices were drivers of growth last year, and the latter two are expected to provide further impetus this year given current world events.

However, an electricity sector revamp announced by the German government yesterday is promising to pay better feed-in tariffs and depending on how generous those are and when they kick in, it could affect storage uptake to some degree.

An earlier report estimates 1,357 MWh of new storage capacity was installed in Germany in 2021 and home energy storage systems accounted for 93% of that total. It notes the average price for a medium-sized HSS (Home Storage System) in Germany was about 1,000 EUR/kWh in 2021 (~ AUD $1,460), a decrease of 8% from 2020 – but still very pricey.

The German market remains dominated by local manufacturers Senec, Shell-owned sonnen and E3/DC.

Home Battery Uptake – Germany Vs. Australia

So, how does Germany’s home battery experience compare to Australia’s?

According to solar industry analyst SunWiz, around 30,246 solar battery installations occurred in Australia last year, when the cumulative total of home batteries across the country reached approximately 140,000 and an estimated collective capacity of 2,657 MWh. Unlike Germany, last year’s installations in Australia were slightly down on 2020.

While Germany’s population is more than three times that of Australia, there are around 2.2 million solar power systems installed in that country compared to Australia’s tally of 3 million plus. It seems German solar owners are more willing to part with a bunch of bucks – or euros – for home battery storage.

But there’s certainly plenty of interest in solar batteries here at home. The April 2022 SolarQuotes auSSII report shows approximately 18% of Australians using the SQ service in March were interested in having a home battery installed at the same time their solar panels – and that has been a consistent figure for 4 months. What isn’t helping interest translate to purchases is the cost of battery systems vs. payback. And on a related note, Tesla recently boosted the price of Powerwall in Australia by nearly a thousand dollars.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. George Kaplan says

    Germany’s desperate need to find alternatives to Russian gas could be significant factor in the rush to embrace solar batteries.

    • Bill Currie says

      Being reliant on Russia for gas is like swimming in a tank full of sharks. Why wouldn’t you want to go for energy independence? The cost of cheap Russian gas is what Ukraine is now paying.

    • Geoff Miell says

      Germany’s desperate need to find alternatives to Russian gas…

      And also alternatives to Russian diesel fuel supplies…

      As Vitol’s Russell Hardy noted earlier this week, “Europe imports about half of its diesel from Russia and about half of its diesel from the Middle East. That systemic shortfall of diesel is there.”

      Europe is not the only one feeling the diesel pinch, however. Middle distillate stocks are on a decline in the United States, too, Reuters’ John Kemp wrote in his latest column.

      https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Rationing-Looms-As-Diesel-Crisis-Goes-Global.html

      But from where? Which countries/regions have spare oil (and diesel fuel) production capacity?

      Goehring & Rozencwajg suggested in Nov 2021:

      Twelve months ago, few people listened when we predicted an energy crisis was imminent. Now, our models suggest that we could be entering a new period in the history of oil – a period without any excess global pumping capability. The ramifications could be huge.

      https://blog.gorozen.com/blog/running-out-of-spare-capacity-global-oil-markets

  2. Donald Newgreen says

    From these figures it seems that as of now – or at least until end 2021 – total number of home battery storage installations in Germany and Australia was almost the same per capita. So, we were not world-beaters (as touted by our government) but well up there. But the difference is in the latest whole year for which figures are available -2021- in which the rate of new installations per head in Germany jumped to about 1.5 times that of Australia’s, that is, roughly 140,000 new units versus 30,000. And with 70,000 units installed in Germany in the first 4 months of this year the German rate is further accelerating. Marvellous what proximity to Putin unmasked can do. And it also shows that Australia also has room for further accelerated uptake of home energy storage systems, given the societal and political will, especially since Australia already has a higher rate of non-storage solar systems.

    • George Kaplan says

      Not sure how much societal will there is, but politically Albanese appears to be starting off this election incredibly poorly. While Labor is supposed to practically be guaranteed victory, too many stumbles could see them seize defeat from the jaws of victory. A worst case scenario could see neither party enjoying a majority with the balance of power being held by extremists who’ll hold Australia to ransom.

      Random thought, and it might be too early, but will SQ do a ‘state of the parties’ sort of analysis prior to the election?

      I’m not even sure which parties are running in my area but one minor party appears to be promoting nuclear power and the processing of resources in Australia, another possible contender appears to be focused on infrastructure – roads, and water, plus power and fuel security. Solar or home batteries may or may not be on either party’s agenda. A look at the Labor option has said candidate speaking about cutting power bills, boosting renewable energy, and reducing emissions – the standard rhetoric. Unfortunately the same candidate also spoke of offering fibre internet as a non-luxury essential infrastructure item. No, better internet isn’t the unfortunate part, that’s the fine print – it’s limited to city and surrounding area only meaning most of his electorate won’t actually see any change. If other promises are likewise fine print based …

  3. Ian Lilley says

    So 140,000 residential installations at an estimated collective capacity of 2,657MWh would mean the average battery installation is 18.97kWh. I don’t see many that size but would love to.

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