Solar Power : The Shift To Self-Consumption

Self-consumption of electricity generated by solar panels is growing in homes and businesses throughout Germany – and Australia will follow suit.

The low price of solar panel systems combined with decreased feed in tariffs and increasing price of mains grid supplied power has seen more systems in Germany being optimized for self consumption says the country’s solar trade association, BSW-Solar.

Optimization includes sizing solar power systems to daytime loads, intelligent energy management systems and battery storage.

“Private power tariffs are now almost twice as high as the cost of self-generated solar electricity from the roof of a house,” said Carsten Grainy, CEO of BSW-Solar.

While feed in tariffs in Germany are now only around 15 euro cents per kilowatt hour, mains-supplied electricity tariffs is approximately 27 euro cents/ kWh. A similar situation is occurring in Australia; where feed in tariffs are as low as 7 cents per kilowatt hour and mains supplied power more than four times that; making maximizing self-consumption very attractive.

One in ten people in Germany (8.5 million) already produce solar power and more are joining the ranks of the “Energiewende” (Energy Transition) each day. Aside from the substantial power bill savings, solar power systems installed in Germany will slash around 24 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions this year according to BSW-Solar.

‘The Next Big Thing’ in home PV is residential energy storage and as was the case with the home solar panel revolution; Germany is again leading the way with support – since its program began, more than 700 applications have been received.

Germany’s companies are also seeing the light and installing systems to match daytime loads. In Australia, commercial solar power systems can already pay for themselves in just a few years according to Energy Matters.