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German power grid battery capacity set to grow 21 pct in 2019 – research

   March 13, 2019        178        REUTERS

Germany‘s power grid industry is set to expand big battery capacity to 380 megawatts (MW) in 2019, up from 314 MW last year and more than double the level of 2017, German advisory group Team Consult said.

* Team Consult gave its forecast in a presentation during a storage industry meeting in Duesseldorf.

* Turnover in the energy storage industry could grow by 10 percent to 5.5 billion euros ($6.2 billion) this year, accelerating from an 8.7 percent increase last year to 5 billion euros, Team Consult said.

* The total would consist of 3.7 billion euros derived from big batteries, renewable electricity capture, conversion into hydrogen, and from heat storage, while 1.8 billion euros would come from pumped storage plants, which still account for the bulk of existing capacity.

* Battery storage has been growing in recent years in the transformation of the power generation and transmission industry as Germany aims to wean itself off fossil fuels.

* Team Consult predicted further sales and employment growth in the sector as well as in export markets, if the domestic market continued to demonstrate a good test case.

* But the growth would be seen mostly in battery usage within power station processes, not from the use of batteries in so-called balancing markets, which are already oversupplied, it said.

* Balancing markets provide reserve power to even out fluctuations on the grids from intermittent wind and solar power supply.

* Grid batteries in this sector have complemented traditional pumped storage plants, that release water to drive power turbines on demand.

* The study said the pumped storage market was difficult in Europe because the plants were no longer profitable enough.

* Turning to home storage power batteries, which are included in the turnover total, Team Consult said that 40,000 such systems were added since last year, bringing the total to 125,000.

* The combined capacity of these home batteries could reach a capacity of 600 MW this year after 440 MW in 2018 and 300 MW in 2017, Team Consult said.

* They are mostly owned by solar rooftop generators, typically families with detached houses. This market offers great future potential as their total number is 1.7 million.