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SK Innovation provides 1MW li-ion battery storage for German microgrid project

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:56 -- Laura Varriale
Contract signing, Frauenhofer and SK Innovation

South Korean battery maker SK Innovation has secured a deal to supply a 1MW lithium-ion battery storage system for a microgrid pilot project, led by Frauenhofer-Institut, in Magdeburg, Germany.

The 1MW battery has a capacity of 0.5MWh. It is SK’s first export of its energy storage system (ESS) since the company entered business in 2010.

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KIT: “Alarming” safety issues with German PV storage systems

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:59 -- Laura Varriale
tested storage system at KIT

Lithium-ion storage systems for PV installations built in Germany show serious safety deficits, according to German-based research centre Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Safety issues range from lack of safety certifications, badly installed field-effect transistors (FET) to loose materials in the system. Several batteries generated smoke, exploded or caught fire during test runs.

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Germany PV energy storage potential "underdeveloped"

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 15:51 -- Laura Varriale
Intersolar 2014

Opportunities to retrofit solar PV systems with energy storage systems are highly underdeveloped in Germany, battery industry experts agreed at a panel discussion at Intersolar 2014 in Munich.

Sales of local PV systems are declining in Germany. An energy storage subsidy programme by the German government has not received the expected resonance from consumers, the panel members agreed. Matthias Vetter, Head of Department PV Off-Grid Solutions and Battery System Technology at Fraunhofer ISE, said the government should rethink its subsidy programme.

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Germany prepares for biggest Battery Day yet

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:02 -- Ruth Williams
Battery Day is 24-26 March

Germany has pledged to make itself a hub of excellence for battery production and is hosting the biggest yet Battery Day in Münster to showcase the progress being made.

Digatron Power Electronics, the test and formation equipment manufacturer headquartered in Aachen, has been instrumental in co-organising the event. The company will be showcasing a host of new equipment including a 1024 channel bi-directional cell formation system, new Regenerative Series (RE Series) Multiple Cell Tester, a 48V battery module (courtesy of ads-tec), and the 48V vehicle boardnet tester.

Battery Day 2014 and Battery Power take place on the 24th - 26th March in Münster, Germany.

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Germany plan to boost hydrogen refuelling network to 400 stations

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 21:21 -- Editor

A consortium comprising Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total have agreed a plan for the construction of a nationwide hydrogen refuelling network for fuel cell-powered vehicles in Germany.

Known as the ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative, the six firms aim to expand the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany to 400 by 2023 at a cost of €350m ($473m).

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Slow start for Germany's PV incentive scheme

Fri, 09/13/2013 - 14:57 -- Ruth Williams
PV is hoped to help Energiewende in Germany


The German government’s scheme to offer subsidy payments to households who purchase a combined energy storage with PV system has got off to a weak start. Of the €25M available to householders, only €3.3M has been claimed. A further €25M is due to be available next year under the same scheme.

The government incentive scheme is intended to encourage the uptake of energy storage systems by offering non-repayable loans that cover up to 30% of the cost of a system.

Although the market is expected to blossom as part of the energiewende, the slow up take suggests householders are reluctant to install the systems.

In a recent report, Lux Research said the coupling of PV with energy storage will be beneficial to the storage companies, but have less impact upon the solar market. However, solar companies that choose to develop products that combine the two could earn a portion of the anticipated US$2.8 billion market in the next five years.

Ground broken at Europe’s biggest battery park

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:51 -- Ruth Williams
Caspar Baumgart, Thomas Paetzold, Erwin ring Selle, Jürgen Becker, Angelika Gramkow, Clemens Triebel (left) at the groundbreaking ceremony

Construction has begun on the site to house Europe’s largest commercial battery park. German utility company WEMAG and Berlin-based renewables expert, Younicos, have begun working on the site that is due to be online in September 2014.

The site in Schwerin, northern Germany, will house a 5MWh battery to offset short-term power fluctuations from renewable energy sources to assist with stabilising grid frequency. Samsung SDI is supplying the lithium-ion cells with an assurance of 20 years performance guaranteed.

This is part of a Germany-wide effort to increase the use of renewable energy to lessen the dependence on fossil fuel and nuclear-generated electricity.

See the full report in the Summer issue of BEST magazine (issue 41) to read more about the Younicos and WEMAG project. 

German energy storage subsidy scheme sees early success

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 09:56 -- Editor
Germany solar PV energy storage

Approximately 1 100 German solar PV system owners have received approval for 30 MW of energy storage under a scheme launched in May 2013, according to a report by analysts IHS.

Another 4 800 applications are being considered, says IHS. The company predicts that the adoption of energy storage in Germany will continue to expand in 2014 due to both the subsidy and falling costs.

“As earlier predicted by IHS, German energy storage subsidy is forecast to kick-start the adoption of solar PV energy storage systems in a similar way as its feed-in tariff system ignited the PV industry eight years ago,” said IHS research manager Sam Wilkinson.

IHS notes that similar subsidies for lithium-ion storage systems for residential applications are in place in Japan, and that California has implemented subsidies for systems up to 3 MW in size.

With the impact of these subsidies and cost reductions, IHS predicts that grid-connected energy storage will be a US$9bn market in 2017.

Germany establishes the Federal Association of Energy Storage

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The Federal Association of Energy Storage has been formed to advance the development of the growing energy storage market in Germany.

Energy storage and efficiency are hot topics in Germany

Energy storage is seen as a key technology to support the future development of renewable energy, particularly solar, as feed-in tariffs decline in many parts of the world. The Berlin-based association aims to represent the growing number of energy storage companies while creating a strong network among them.

Professor Eicke Weber, spokesman for the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, has been appointed the Association’s first President.  Association CEO is Dr. Harald Binder, Vice-President and General Manager of Applied Materials.

The association, which has issued an invitation for new members, said its first official project will be to create an 'energy storage roadmap', which will define the role energy storage plays in Germany’s energy revolution. The Federal Association of Energy Storage will have its first meeting at the Energy Storage Conference Exhibition in Dusseldorf this March.


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