RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich bring transparency to the storage market in Germany

  1.2 MW / 1.4 MWh lead-acid battery storage as part of the hybrid 5 MW / 5 MWh battery storage power station M5BAT in Aachen, Germany. 1.2 MW / 1.4 MWh lead-acid battery storage as part of the hybrid 5 MW / 5 MWh battery storage power station M5BAT in Aachen, Germany.

The market for stationary battery storage is booming. This is one result of a comprehensive analysis by JARA Energy, the joint energy research association of Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and RWTH Aachen University.

The Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (ISEA) at RWTH Aachen University has been analysing the market for home storage systems for several years. According to the authors, at the end of 2018, there were about 125,000 home storage units with an installed battery capacity of about 930 MWh and a rated power of more than 400 MW installed in Germany. This corresponds to the size of a medium-sized pumped hydroelectric power plant. The prices of the market-leading lithium-ion systems have more than halved since 2013 and in 2018 were just over € 1,100/kWh for medium-sized home storage facilities.

The techno-economic system analysis of the Institute for Energy and Climate Research (FZJ IEK-3) contributed its expertise in large battery storage systems for frequency stabilization to the study. According to the co-published database, around 60 large battery storage systems with an installed capacity of 550 MWh and a rated power of around 400 MW have been installed in Germany at the end of 2018. In this market, too, the prices of the dominating lithium-ion technology have fallen continuously over the last few years and were around € 800/kWh in 2018. However, the market growth for large battery storage systems is slowing down significantly due to the limited demand for primary control reserve power, as the prices for this type of power reserve are decreasing drastically.

With regard to the commercial storage market, the authors see great potential, even if the data situation for this market is still very limited. More and more companies are discovering commercial storage for increasing their own consumption as well as for peak load shaving of electrical machines, or for fast charging of electric vehicles. Depending on the application, the dimensioning of commercial storage systems ranges from a few kilowatt-hours to almost one megawatt-hour.

The complete study can be downloaded free of charge, and JARA Energy will keep the results up-to-date with regular updates: