TRENDS IN THE SOLAR INDUSTRY

From 31 May to 2 June 2017, Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition and conference for the solar industry and its partners, will present the latest products in the solar industry and provide a discussion forum on business models of the future. Below you will find a selection of current topics relating to solar energy. We would be glad to support you in further research or in the development of ideas. Information on BSWSolar’s exhibition activities as well as an overview of seminars and events offered are available at: www.solarwirtschaft.de/intersolar.html

Your contact person:
David Wedepohl, Press Spokesman, German Solar Association / Bundesverband
Solarwirtschaft e.V. (BSW-Solar)
Lietzenburger Str. 53, 10719 Berlin, e-mail: wedepohl@bsw-solar.de, Tel.: 030 / 29 777 88 30 (during the exhibition: 0160 / 58 660 33)
Information relating to solar power:
Current news, infographics, market data, photos: www.solarwirtschaft.de/pressemediathek.html
Applications, technology, funding measures: www.solartechnikberater.de
Research: www.solarstromforschung.de
Photovoltaic passport: www.pvap.de
Solar power storage systems: www.die-sonne-speichern.de
Thermal storage systems: www.waermespeichern.de
Week of the Sun, 17 – 25 June 2017: www.woche-der-sonne.de

The slump is over
German photovoltaic market is on track to growth
Inexpensive system prices and low financing costs are fueling the demand for photovoltaic systems: 2016 was the first time in several years in Germany that more solar power systems were installed than in the previous year. During the last year, the Bundesnetzagentur registered around 51,900 new solar power systems, with a total capacity of approximately 1.52 gigawatt peak (GWp), compared to around 51,000 systems with a capacity of 1.46 GWp in 2015. For the current year, the German Solar Association forecasts double-digit market growth and domestic sales totaling around two gigawatts.

Business situation and business outlook
Business climate at seven-year high
The business climate within the German solar industry is better than it has been in seven years. This spring, the industry mood barometer was at 120 points, which is 30 percent above the previous year’s value. There has been a clear improvement in both the business situation and the business outlook.

Inexpensive solar technology
Solar power pays off
In the past ten years, prices for turnkey photovoltaic systems have fallen by 70 percent; by now they are so low that solar power consumed by operators of systems on private or commercial rooftops is, as a rule, half as expensive as electricity from local electricity providers.

Energy transition in cities and municipalities
Tenant electricity – solar energy for everyone
With tenant electricity tariffs for solar power, residents of apartment buildings can finally achieve electricity savings as well. The environmentally friendly electricity from photovoltaic systems is supplied directly to tenants’ apartments – without contributing to strain on the public power grids, and in most cases at a lower tariff than those offered by energy providers. With this development, the energy transition has finally reached multiple-family homes and residential building in cities and municipalities. Some federal states have already instituted support programs for tenant solar power, and the Federal Government plans to follow soon with programs of its own. Further information as well as an extensive application guide can be found under: www.sonneteilen.de.

Consumer ranking for green products
A new dream team: Photovoltaics, electromobility and storage technology
Private households are a key player in the energy transition, and are an increasingly sought after target group when it comes to environmentally friendly products. A recent survey conducted by the Bonn-based market and economic research company EuPD Research asks how private households themselves assess the significance of these products. 57 percent of the 1,000 households surveyed feel that photovoltaic systems play the biggest role in terms of usage in private households. This is followed in the ranking by electric vehicles and electricity storage systems.

Energy generation, storage and management
Smart Energy Home
With an intelligent energy management system, it is possible to attain particularly high rates of self-consumption of renewable power. Depending on the household electricity demand and the charging level of the battery storage system, and taking the weather forecast into account, the system steering technology ensures that electricity from the photovoltaic system is stored in the battery storage system, that consumer appliances such as washing machine or dryer are turned on or that solar power is fed into the public grid. This results in a corresponding reduction in the amount of electricity that must be purchased from the energy provider.

Demand for solar power storage systems continues to grow
Storing the sun
A majority of photovoltaic systems that are now installed include a solar power storage unit. This enables the delayed use of affordable solar power when it is needed – in particular after the sun goes down or in the early morning hours. Electricity that is neither stored nor consumed directly is fed into the public grid at a fixed feed-in tariff. The German Federal Government supports the purchase of grid-assistive storage units with low-interest loans and favorable financing terms. Some federal states have also instituted funding programs of their own. Further information is available at diesonne-speichern.de

Thermal storage systems:
More efficient, cheaper and cleaner heating
Thermal storage systems balance out fluctuations in heat production and demand and ensure that sufficient heat is always available. By reducing the required maximum capacity of the boiler and lowering the switch-on frequency, thermal storage technology makes a valuable contribution to achieving higher efficiency. In solar heating systems, large storage units allow as much solar energy as possible to be used for heating and hot water preparation. Further information is available at www.waermespeichern.de