In the starting blocks: The market for solar storage on the move.
October 10, 2012 saw, for the first time, stakeholders from industry, politics and the energy sector come together at the EuPD Research “Market Briefing” where current storage technologies, market developments in this segment as well as societal, political and technological challenges were discussed. The premiere of the “Storage & Solar Briefing 2012” served as a platform for about 90 attendees, speakers and panelists to discuss technically possible and economically feasible applications for the photovoltaic branch especially for residential solar systems. Intersolar Europe co-initiated this briefing.
„We can either make or break the market”, Harm Haarlink, Business Development Manager at the Dutch company Nedap Energy Systems said to his fellow panelists. The market development and resounding success enjoyed by photovoltaics but also the difficulties currently impacting the industry more or less created the framework for the full-day conference. Martin Ammon, Senior Research Manager at the market research company EuPD Research got the day off to a start with a comprehensive overview of the market potential for storage solutions and showed which national markets are of particular interest and likely to play a major role in the future.
The difficulties with base load, the discussion about the high costs of solar electricity and the problem with daytime and seasonal fluctuations in energy generation were all brought to the point by Gaetan Masson, Head of Business Intelligence at the European industry association EPIA. “Solar electricity has to be better adjusted to actual consumption in individual countries. We need competitive storage solutions, and, we need them in this decade”, said Mason.
Jörg Mayer, Managing Director at the German Solar Industry Association is also giving the industry his support. On behalf of BSW-Solar he spoke about how they are campaigning on a national level for political support in terms of an incentive program. “Our aim as an industry is to contribute toward the necessity of grid stability and as an association to drive the implementation of a nationwide incentive program“, said Jörg Mayer. From Berlin, Mayer brought initial “positive signals from policy-makers in this direction”.
Karl Greißing, Director of the Department Energy at the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector in Baden-Württemberg, also emphasized the willingness of his state to actively participate in drawing up a regulatory framework. Yet the nature of political support needed is subject to dispute within the branch. Funding specifically for research and development, possible one-time payments to buyers of solar systems as well as a surcharge via a Feed-in-Tariff were all debated.
Although the majority of the branch spoke in favor of political support in terms of incentives, some would prefer less political intervention. Harm Haarlink from Nedap Energy Systems warned against over regulation and drew similarities with individual excesses in photovoltaics. “We have to be careful that not too many companies enter the market looking to make a quick buck. “Cowboys” of such caliber were already experienced in module production. The goal must be the establishment of a stable and sustainable market”, noted Haarlink whose company has been on the market since 2009 with the Nedap Power Router, a product the company sees as competitive.
All were unanimous in the opinion that storage solutions will play a significant role in the further development of the PV market. The majority of participants also spoke out for the necessity of a fast and reliable expansion of the storage market. The only issue to which no answer was offered by the speakers and panelists was how lessons can be learned from mistakes made in other branches. These challenges can be discussed at the EuPD Research „Storage & Solar Briefing 2013“.
The event was supported by Intersolar Europe as Co-Initiator, the issuing house Wattner and the Investment Center Ostbrandenburg ICOB. A word of thanks also to the German Solar Industry Association, the German CleanTech Institute, Berlin Solar Network, IPVEA, the global network initiative Joint Forces for Solar, Solar Valley Mitteldeutschland, Solar Input and the VDMA as well as to media partners pv magazine and Sun & Wind Energy.
The entire results and presentations from the Workshop „Storage & Solar Briefing 2012“ are available from EuPD Research. Please contact the press department for more information.
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