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German solar battery subsidy supports 4,000 systems in first year

The German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar, Berlin) reports that roughly 4,000 battery systems to accompany solar photovoltaic (PV) generation have been supported by the federal government since the introduction of subsidies in May 2013.

These battery systems have also been supported with financing from German development bank KfW (Frankfurt, Germany), with nearly EUR 66 million (USD 91 million) in low-interest loans and EUR 10 million (USD 14 million) in grants deployed.

“With the state covering a portion of the acquisition cost, solar power storage has become very affordable for home or commercial use,” said BSW-Solar Managing Director J?rg Mayer.

Battery demand to increase

BSW-Solar notes that this combination of financing and high retail electricity prices makes energy storage and PV a practical investment.

Additionally, the organization notes that by balancing production peaks battery storage also helps the operation of power grids and increases the connection capacity of other PV systems.

“Anyone planning to invest in a PV system up to 30 kW should definitely consider energy storage,” notes Mayer. “Retrofits are also possible, if the PV system was put online after December 31st, 2012.”

BSW-Solar expects an increase in demand for batteries in the second year of the program, and also notes that as the market grows, the cost of batteries will fall and technologies will improve.

Mandatory battery recycling to take effect April 2015

BSW-Solar is also alerting its members that the EU's new Waste and Electronic Equipment Act (WEEE) includes a redemption and disposal obligation for PV batteries for the first time. The new law will go into effect in April 2015, and the organization will discuss the new regulations and industry impacts in an event on May 20th, 2014.

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