Battery storage systems are a key enabler of clean energy. Since 2013 the market for stationary storage has been growing steadily. By the end of 2019, over 2.1 GWh of battery storage systems were already installed in Germany.
In order to track this rapidly changing market, researcher from JARA Energy collect data on stationary battery storage systems in Germany. The latest results were published in their paper that was updated recently under the title “The development of stationary battery storage systems in Germany – status 2020, Figgener et al., 2020".
The contributing institutions were the Chair of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems (ISEA) of RWTH Aachen University and the FZ Jülich-IEK3 section. ACCURE visualizes the published data in interactive graphics to allow for individual presentation requests, which are welcome be used freely, provided the ACCURE website and the paper are mentioned properly.
Stationary battery storage systems (BSS) range from a few kilowatt-hours to over 100 megawatt-hours. To cluster BSS three typical use cases were identified.
Home storage systems are mainly behind-the-meter (BTM) applications connected to the low voltage level, as they are mainly used to increase PV self-consumption. Large-scale systems (LSS) are mainly connected as front-of-meter (FTM) applications to the medium and high voltage level.
LSS are mainly used for frequency containment reserve (FCR) in Germany. Industrial storage systems form the link between HSS und LSS and can provide BTM applications like PV self-consumption or peak shaving, or FTM applications like FCR. Typically they are mainly connected to the low or medium voltage level. Categories are often fluid between the BSS types.
The german market for home storage systems (HSS) continued its growth in 2019. With 60,000 new HSS installations, the total number of installations had risen to 185,000 HSS by the end of the year 2019. In total, the HSS have a cumulative power of about 750 MW with a storage capacity of about 1,420 MWh, which corresponds to the dimensions of a medium- to large-sized pumped-hydro storage power plant.
The average power of a HSS is around 4 kW and the average installed capacity is near 8 kWh. The prices for medium-sized HSS in the 5 kWh to 10 kWh class were approximately 1,100 €/kWh, including power electronics, and with 19% value-added tax (VAT) in 2019.
There is a high degree of intransparency regarding battery storage system prices. The range of communicated values ranges from less than 100 €/kWh to over 1,000 €/kWh. The only common ground seems to be, that they have been declining for years. While the lower values are usually on battery cell or pack level, the higher ones mainly refer to all-inclusive systems prices. To be accurate as possible: The presented HSS prices are systems prices including power electronics and 19% VAT. The prices more than halved over the last years and are around 1,100 €/kWh for medium-sized HSS at the end of 2019.
As the prices of lithium-ion battery storage systems decreased continuously, other storage technologies for HSS became almost irrelevant. The advantages of lithium-ion batteries are evident. They offer a higher cycle life, higher efficiency as well as a higher reliability than other storage technologies such as lead acid.
For a long time there were hardly any reliable data on the german ISS market. This changed last year with the introduction of the MaStR database of the federal network agency. Even if not all ISS are registered there yet, first evaluations of the registrations can be made:
There are more than 700 industrial storage systems installed in Germany by the end of 2019. Around 85% of these projects are based on lithium-ion technologies. The majority of the systems have a size between 30 and 100 kWh.
The ISS market is expected to continue its growth as many companies turn towards applications like peak-shaving, self-consumption and buffer storage for battery-electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Half of all registered ISS in the MaStR database were installed in 2019 alone and we expect this growth to continue.
In the industrial storage segment, it is also apparent that lithium-ion technology has dominated new installations in recent years. The advantages of fast response and high reliability in combination with steadily decreasing prices are particularly contributing to this development.
In 2019, six large storage projects were put into operation in Germany. This represents a significant slow down to the previous year where 22 projects were installed.
The main reason for the slow down of the LSS market can be seen in steeply falling prices for frequency containment reserve. This is the segment where most of LSS in Germany are operating in today. This makes the economics of LSS quite hard as FCR is currently the almost sole source of refinancing.
A significant uptake in LSS capacity is expected to come from so-called grid boosters ("virtual transmission"), which are to be installed in the next few years with a cumulative power and capacity 450 MW / 450 MWh. In addition, a new form of tendering (innovation tendering) will lead to an increase of several 100 MW in the coming years in Germany.
The most installed battery technology for LSS in Germany is lithium-ion. However, other storage technologies have also seen growth in recent years. Especially large projects based on technologies like lead-acid have had a strong impact on the overall share of this technology.
The shown investments vary significantly, as it is not always clear from the different sources what exactly is to be included in the given investment (powerelectronics, building, land, grid connection, VAT, etc.).
We would like to thank the authors of the paper and refer once again to the original document and the underlying data.
If you would like to stay in touch and hear about relevant news about the battery space please leave your contact details below.