German network can handle ‘huge amounts’ of solar-plus-storage – with no negative effects

Germany’s electricity network could support “huge amounts” of solar and storage without any negative impact, but rather to the overall benefit of the grid, a new study has found.

The research, published on Wednesday by German think tank Agora Energiewende, says that that the country’s grid could cope with a cumulative PV generation capacity of 150GW (more than half of this would on the country’s rooftops) by 2023, and around 70GW of wind power, even benefitting the network by providing services such as frequency control, but depending on “how it is controlled”.

Ultimately, the report says, the key to this would be a policy franework optimising self-consumption from household batteries.

Co-authored by two of the think tank’s directors, Matthias Deutsch and Patrick Graichen, the study also assumes this scenario would include around 40GW of household battery storage installed, given falling battery costs.

It also says that the expansion in the numbers of residential solar-plus-storage systems would be “massive” in the instance of the kind of battery “breakthrough” Tesla has foreshadowed.

Making up the rest of the picture would be around 70GW of solar not paired with storage, while there could be 23GW of large-scale storage for “industry, trade and services” and 5GW for balancing reserve at grid level.

EV batteries could represent 125GW of output and although this was not factored in to the analysis of the grid’s dynamics, the think tank said this area had “large potential”.

Agora Energiewende, which, as PV-Tech reports, was originally founded by former Green politician and now state secretary for the economic affairs and energy Rainer Baake, has recommended a mixture of technical measures and regulatory changes to enable this high renewable energy deployment scenario.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd