The forecast for household solar continues to look bright for coming years, according to SolarPower Europe’s new annual report, as European solar and storage are set to grow over 400 per cent, from 3 gigawatts-hour (GWh) installed storage capacity in 2020 to 12.8 GWh in 2025.
Analysing the synergy between residential solar and batteries, new figures show that European residential solar and storage soared by 44 per cent to 140,000 installed units in 2020. This is the first time that more than 100,000 storage systems were installed in Europe in a 12-month period, with annual installation capacity also reaching the GWh scale for the first time and setting a new milestone in the European energy transition.
As the continent struggles through the latest energy price crisis, the report demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of installing storage to support residential solar.
In Germany last year, households installing premium solar and storage systems benefitted from a Levelised Cost of Electricity of 12.2 euro cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh), nearly one-third of the typical electricity price.
The popularity of batteries in supporting residential solar is most striking in Germany, which was responsible for 70 per cent of the newly installed storage capacity. The Top 5 markets together, Germany, Italy, UK, Austria and Switzerland, installed 93 per cent of new European solar and storage.
“As the popularity of residential solar increases, more households are realising that domestic storage systems will maximize the value of their solar PV systems,” said Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, adding that as Europe is increasingly affected by gas-related energy price shocks, solar and storage is the clear answer to volatile energy prices.
According to Ms Hemetsberger combining solar and storage is key to achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050. It enables the EU to increase the share of renewables and to supply reliable, clean and cost-effective energy to homes and businesses during peak times.
“National policymakers must recognise this immense potential and significantly feature distributed storage in the revision of their National Energy and Climate Plans,” underlined the CEO of SolarPower Europe.
Michael Schmela, Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe added that if we want to see the residential battery market develop beyond the first few key countries, and help protect citizens from rising energy prices, more European governments need to move faster to fully implement the Clean Energy Package.
The report highlights that in order to ensure that we can accommodate the forecasted uptake of solar and storage while maximising the value of its flexibility potential, we must reinforce and modernise power grids.
“Participative and regular grid planning exercises must be conducted at transmission and distribution level, and system operators must provide transparency on current and future system needs,” explained Mr Schmela.
Finally, to meet future green energy needs and realise the potential of solar and storage, Europe must develop a future-proof EU Battery Regulation which supports the competitiveness of strategic industrial sectors and avoids burdening manufacturers or dissuading investors.
The report highlights the importance of establishing sustainability and quality frameworks for battery requirements but also underlines that any framework must avoid distortive effects on markets.