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Germany sets new solar storage record

Partial storage in grid-connected systems has gained accelerated traction in Germany as it provides improved economy for both homeowners and power utilities.

With the most solar photovoltaic capacity of any country in Europe, Germany has made great strides in storing its excess solar power to enhance local usage.

Energy Post reports that the Renewable Energy Storage Subsidy Program of the KfW Development Bank arranges low-interest federal loans and payback assistance covering up to 25 per cent of the required investment outlays.

KfW has determined that 41 per cent of Germany’s new solar installations in 2015 included battery storage, compared with less than 14 per cent the previous year. This level of adoption likely constitutes a world record for dedicated solar storage.

Since 2013, 43,000 applications for solar systems with battery storage have been approved — 19,328 last year alone.

The heaviest concentration of registered locations in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia reflects higher income levels and greater electricity consumption per household.

Germany’s 1.5 million photovoltaic installations provide a generation capacity of 40 GW, four times the 10.8 GW base-load nuclear fleet that is being decommissioned in legislated stages between the end of 2017 and 2022.

As solar generation only delivers 940 equivalent full-load hours of electricity per year, its high capacity currently covers 7.5 per cent of German electricity consumption compared to 14 per cent for nuclear generation (in 2015). But solar power has a particular advantage over nuclear generation, in that it needs no long-distance transmission to serve local markets.