(REPOST: Energy Storage News)

The biggest market segment for electrical storage remains the utility-scale battery storage market (i.e. front-of-meter), accounting for 60% of total capacities installed in 2015 and still commanding 55% of the overall stationary battery market in 2017. Yet from year-to-year it was always a different country where the majority of battery capacity added in the utility segment took place.

First Italy, then Germany, then the UK: Europe’s annual frontrunners

In 2015 Italy accounted for the majority of the European front-of-meter battery storage market, adding 100MWh of capacity. Then, in 2016 Germany captured 78% of this market segment, adding 180MWh of utility scale battery capacity. Finally, in 2017 the UK was by far the most important utility-scale battery market, adding 240MWh of capacity after having added less than 40MWh of utility scale battery storage capacity in the two prior years combined. These strong annual fluctuations in each country’s demand for utility-scale storage solutions illustrates that the demand was typically ignited by short term market opportunities (the auctioning of grid service capacities in the UK for instance) but that so far only a limited self-sustaining market demand for these large scale storage systems has emerged.

Some might not expect to find that around 40% to 45% of energy storage battery capacity added in Europe each year comes from the residential sector, the case for which is growing rapidly in leading markets and is closely linked with the uptake of solar PV. Image: E.On.

PV still drives forward batteries at residential level

In contrast, the demand for residential battery storage solutions has progressed more uniformly in all European countries over the past three years. The market potential in the residential storage segment is closely tied to the activity of new PV installations in all European regions.

Over the past three years, between 40% and 45% of the yearly battery capacities added are attributable to residential systems. With falling battery prices, lowered feed-in tariffs and increasing electricity rates across Europe, it has become increasingly attractive to raise the share of self-consumption of the photovoltaic electricity generated on the homeowners’ roof rather than sell it to the grid.

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