The study "European PV Storage Market Insights 2014" of EuPD Research, market researcher from Bonn, offers current insights for the most important European national markets - Germany, Italy, the UK, France and the Benelux. Here one of the issues is whether the new round in the price war will lead to the desired breakthrough or which other factors can impede the turn-around.
Previous studies have already identified the purchasing price as the biggest obstacle when buying a storage system. At the same time, however, self-consumption is the most important purchasing feature for end customers across Europe. Despite differences in the structures of the national markets, the demand for a higher level of autarchy unites European customers.
The current study from EuPD Research reveals the most important reasons why end customers opt for a photovoltaic-system with energy storage. Due to the participance of over 750 installers, a substantiated overview of the current state of knowledge of those questioned in Germany and the four most important EU countries - Great Britain, France, Italy and Benelux - is given.
Installers have a key role when it comes to consulting, as end customers mainly trust the recommendation of the installing companies. However, it is remarkable that those questioned are often hesitant when actively recommending to purchase energy storage. Most of them mention both lack of technological maturity of the products and lack of practical experience as the main reasons for their hesitance.
In addition, the relatively low electricity prices in France is the reason the economic added value is lower and leads to little or nearly no interest among end customers. Nevertheless, also in France autarchy is becoming more and more an issue for customers.
This trend can be observed across Europe as self-consumption replaces profitability as the most important factor when buying an energy storage system. This also causes Italian and British installers to include storage solutions in their product portfolio in 2014.
In times of decreasing funding a heightened demand for energy storage and the desire for more self-consumption can be witnessed in Germany. Therefore already over two thirds of the installers questioned carry storage systems in their product portfolio. Here Germany is clearly ahead of the other European markets.
In addition to the results of the European survey, this study offers target-market relevant primary data, which give detailed insights about the European storage market. These are supported by profitability analyses that are based on scientific assumptions and quantitative data regarding the observed countries.
The result is that the profitability in the commercial segment depends heavily on the energy needs and the specific load profiles of the companies. In comparison, it is easier for residential customers to reach a higher level of autarchy with a storage system. Generally storage systems will be more appealing for the residential market at first, whereas also the commercial segment promises a higher profitability in the near future.
EuPD Research predicts an increased demand for energy storage solutions in the coming years. Among others, market potentials and price developments play a significant role. Retro-Fit installations will be as important as new installations. Currently the German and the Italian market are the most promising. A total installed capacity of 220MWh until the year 2016 is estimated.
The complete results of the survey, including an analysis of the specific brand awareness of storage manufacturers and customer feedback regarding the new offers in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Benelux and France can be requested here.