The prices of storage systems are dropping as production expands.
Retail prices for solar power storage devices are plummeting, particularly for lithium ion cells. By the second half of 2016, for example, they were 15% cheaper than they had been at the beginning of 2015. What's behind these falling prices? Several major car manufacturers have joined the storage battery market and are setting up large-scale production facilities.
For example, Daimler began construction of a second battery factory in Kamenz in October 2016, which is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2018. The car manufacturer is investing €500 million in what will be one of Europe's largest battery factories. In total, Daimler is investing €1 billion globally in battery system production. It has been producing batteries for Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles in Kamenz since in 2012 and expanded production to stationary battery storage cells for industry and private households in 2015.
Global production capacity will double by 2018.
Enerkeep analysts expect to see a breakthrough in the prices of lithium ion batteries, which now make up the lion's share of the market. The Berlin-based solar energy consultancy assessed the announcements made by 15 international cell manufacturers over the last year and cataloged their factory plans. The result: Global production capacity will at least double by 2018 and perhaps even quadruple by 2020.
For homeowners with their own photovoltaic panels, it makes more sense to consume their own solar power rather than paying for expensive electricity from the power companies. According to a survey by the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and ees Europe, a turnkey solar power storage battery now costs 40% less than it did three years ago. At the same time, the prices for domestic solar power production are now often only half of what power companies charge. In light of their increasing cost effectiveness, the combination of photovoltaic and storage batteries will continue to expand – and not just in private homes. Emerging concepts focus on central storage batteries for entire neighborhoods or interconnected, renewable energy systems with large storage batteries, turning them into virtual power stations.