Germany set to launch incentives for PV storage systems
The German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) is expected to introduce incentives for PV energy storage systems in February 2013.
A spokesperson from BSW-Solar, an association which represents the common commercial interests of businesses within the solar industry, revealed to PV-Tech that it expects the BMU to make an official announcement on the incentives in the next few weeks.
Citing a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, BSW said that grid-connected storage systems could increase the network capacity by 66% while the production could be reduced by 40%.
BSW-Solar has welcomed the news of the imminent incentive programme. However, Jörg Mayer, managing director of BSW, highlighted that the programme must set out transparent conditions.
Earlier this week, Germany established a new organisation called the Federal Association of Energy Storage in order to advance the development of a stable energy storage market in Germany.
Today I learned that a German news service, FAZ, published an article on this subject on Monday. Apparently they interviewed a number of experts and interested parties, both from academia and industry. Surprisingly, many were critical of the plan, and this included people at BSEW and dena, both of which are national-level producer and transmission system operators in Germany. I was particularly struck by the inclusion of these two organizations in opposition. The article is in German, and I haven't yet had time to thoroughly digest its contents.
The criticism (from BSEW and dena, anyway) seems to be focused on technical shortcomings of the project as envisioned currently, rather than on a general basis. There was at least one well-respected academic, however, who came out against the proposal on an economic basis, arguing that the cost is unreasonable, particularly in light of the FIT.
In my view, they're behind the curve on this issue. They probably should have implemented this the first time their PV installations exceeded annual targets.
Their next hurdle will be storage for wind-generated energy. Last winter, there were a few occasions when the spot price on PHELIX (Austria-Germany electricity exchange) actually went negative in early-morning hours; I suspect that's almost entirely attributable to wind-generated infeeds.