1.3 Million Solar Power Systems In Germany

2012 was another record breaking year for solar power in Germany and 2013 is shaping up to be the year home energy storage really takes off in the nation.

According to the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar), Germany now boasts 1.3 million solar power systems – with most of those privately owned. These systems generated an estimated 28 billion kilowatt hours of clean electricity last year; representing year on year growth of 45 percent.

Chief executive of the Solar Industry Federation Carsten Koernig said solar power’s share of Germany’s energy supply had quadrupled in three years and the price of solar panel systems halved.

While Germany’s pioneering efforts in solar incentives have at times been criticised, the country’s love affair with solar has been a major contributor to the cost of solar power components reducing around the world.

Photovoltaics in Germany currently supply around five percent of electricity demand. By 2020, BSW-Solar aims to see PV’s share in Germany’s electricity mix reach at least 10 percent and at least 20 percent by 2030.

BSW-Solar expects to see increasing uptake of battery-based home energy storage systems in 2013; a concept that has seen substantial interest on our own shores.

With electricity prices continuing to rise, lithium-ion batteries rapidly dropping in price and related energy management systems becoming more readily available; self-consumption rather than exporting under feed in tariff arrangements can offer not only less reliance on the mains grid; but a better financial return in some Australian states. Home energy storage systems also provide a way to keep the lights on during blackout events and could play an important role in lightening the load on Australia’s mains grid during heatwave events.

In early December, BSW-Solar estimated installed solar power capacity globally was about to surpass the 100–gigawatt mark, which translates to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 70 million tons per year. The organisation stated worldwide solar power capacity will increase five to sevenfold by 2020.

BSW-Solar acts as an  intermediary between its 800 member companies and Germany’s political and public sectors. Its vision is for solar energy to become a major pillar of Germany’s future energy supply system; a vision that looks set to become reality.