EU PVSEC News No 80

Energy Storage – An Important Research Topic
EU PVSEC Parallel Event: Enhancing PV Competitiveness with Energy Storage
EU PVSEC 2016 Sponsors
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Energy Storage – An Important Research Topic

If you try to follow the massive coverage of battery energy storage in the rapidly growing number of studies and articles, you might think that the battery storage era is just around the corner. Especially, recent news about plans for production expansion show the car industry’s increasingly strong interest. Following Tesla’s Gigawatt battery storage factory in Nevada, which is now planned to start production in the fourth quarter of 2016, Deutsche Accumotive, a subsidiary of car maker Daimler, recently announced to invest 500 million Euros in a new lithium-ion battery factory in Germany, scheduled to launch production in the summer of 2017.

Strong growth, but still at the beginning

Indeed, the number of storage systems for on-grid applications is quickly rising as the cost of batteries has been strongly decreasing in the last few years – and the prospects are bright, as the following forecast from IRENA’s Battery Storage For Renewables Outlook shows:

(source: IRENA Battery Storage for Renewables: Market Status and Technology Outlook)

But today the global market of on-grid battery systems is still very petite – Tesla announced in its first quarter results, that its recently launched energy storage products sold 100 times for the commercial-scale Powerpack and 2,500 times for its residential-scale Powerwall, in total 25 MWh. Sonnen, a market leader from Germany, had already said in February that it had shipped a total of 10,000 battery storage systems.

Only few countries exist today that are adding several thousand systems per year – one is Germany, which has just recently extended its successful storage support program. Germany’s leading state for energy storage is Bavaria, that’s where the country’s largest volume of solar systems is installed, which offers separate incentives for energy storage – and which is home to EU PVSEC in June in Munich.

Doing the right things

In order to tap the huge on-grid market potential for storage, there’s still a lot to do. Obviously, it is primarily about cost reduction to continue for battery energy storage making the final stretch to become cost competitive. As we all know from PV developments, this means on the one hand, to work constantly on technology innovation. But it is also about setting up sustainable incentive programs that avoid ‘stop-and-go’ situations. It needs the right market design mechanisms that enable and award energy storage’s benefits to the energy system. It also needs the right technical guidelines and standards. And last but not least, it also needs to create appropriate marketing and education tools for installers and end-customers to understand the opportunities and advantages of combining solar and storage. In summary, for battery energy storage to truly flourish, its stakeholders from R&D and industry have to meet and exchange their views and work together as much as possible.

Choosing the discussion platform

EU PVSEC is a perfect forum for the R&D community to discuss the research topics related to energy storage. While the experience on discussing solar and battery research for off-grid applications dates back to the first EU PVSEC events over 30 years ago, the upcoming event will again have several topics in the EU PVSEC Programme that contribute to a good fit for energy storage research:

  • In session “Grid and Energy System Integration (III) / Technology Solutions” on Wednesday, June 22, 17:00-18:30:

    Efficiency and Effectiveness of PV Battery Energy Storage Systems for Residential Applications - Experience from Laboratory Tests of Commercial Products (C. Messner et al., AIT, Vienna, Austria)

    Optimized Demand Side Management and Minimized Battery Storage for High Self- Consumption with PV Driven Low-Part-Load Heat Pumps or Compression Chillers (J. Spinnler et al., Munich University of Technology, Munich, Germany)

    PV Battery Learning Curve and Future Market Penetration (F.P. Baumgartner, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland)

  • In session “PV Economics on Markets” on Thursday, June 23, 13:30-15:00:

    Impact of Energy Storage in Conjunction with Solar PV on Wholesale Electricity Prices (G. Sanches et al., Green Giraffe Energy, Paris, France)

  • In session “Grid and Energy System Integration – Case Studies” on Thursday, June 23, 13:30-15:00:

    Analysis of Stationary Electrical Storage Solutions for Residential Districts with High Photovoltaic Penetration (R. Völker et al, Next Energy, Oldenburg, Germany)

EU PVSEC & Intersolar Europe – from Research to Products

EU PVSEC, the world's leading solar research Conference, 20 - 24 June 2016, takes place the same week and the same location as Intersolar Europe. The co-location with Intersolar Europe opens doors for dialogue from research to industry and industry to research.

EU PVSEC Parallel Event: Enhancing PV Competitiveness with Energy Storage

Monday, 20 June 2016, 13:30 - 18:30

jointly with the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme


Grid parity has been reached in some market segments but the real competitiveness of PV solutions has not been achieved yet everywhere. This workshop aims at redefining the concepts of competitiveness for PV solutions in the light of the last self-consumption regulations and the super-competitive tenders seen in Germany, India, the USA, the UAE or recently in Peru. In addition, the shift towards decentralized PV that several countries are attempting requires an in-depth look into the possibilities of energy storage, through batteries, but also energy storage in buildings or embedded in the grid.

EU PVSEC 2016 Sponsors

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WIP, 6 June 2016

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