Germany is seeing a major boost in residential photovoltaic installations and that is leading to an increased uptake in home storage systems, Sandra Enkhardt writes in pv magazine, citing a report by EUPD Research. Germany’s revamped Renewable Energy Act this year raised the size limit for residential PV systems that are exempt from the country’s renewable energy levy from 10 to 30 kilowatts. This led to a 142 percent year-on-year increase in new residential PV systems of between 10 and 30 kilowatts, pushing newly installed capacity in the segment from 27 to 66 megawatts. Smaller PV systems of up to 10 kilowatts saw a 39 percent year-on-year increase, with newly installed capacity up from 154 to 215 megawatts. EUPD Research forecasts 600 megawatts of newly installed capacity this year in the 10-30 kilowatt segment and 1.5 gigawatts from systems up to 10 kW. The increase in residential PV systems has led to major growth in home storage systems. The research group expects some 150,000 residential storage systems will be installed in Germany this year, compared to 106,000 in 2020 – an 42 percent increase. Retrofitting of existing PV systems could also result in 15 percent of total demand.
While the expansion of onshore wind capacity has faltered in recent years, interest in auctions for large solar PV installations has remained strong, as well as in small PV panels in combination with home storage devices. In 2020, around 3.9 GW of added capacity were attributable to PV plants built outside of the tender system, according to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). In March, the fixed feed-in tariff for small rooftop systems fell below eight cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first time.