Energy Storage Insights – From the View of French Solar Installers | Saif Islam, Senior Consultant, EuPD Research

France is not only one of the oldest, but also one of the most important PV rooftop markets in Europe. It was one of the first markets to introduce a feed-in tariff, and is known for paying a premium on building-integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). However, after many years of decreasing and stagnating installation numbers, the question is what may give the French residential PV market a fresh impulse? Of course, energy storage is the first that comes to mind.

Saif Islam, Senior Consultant, EuPD Research

Saif Islam, Senior Consultant, EuPD Research

In 2017 France was the eighth largest market worldwide in regards to new installations (875MW), and the third largest market in Europe behind only Germany and the UK. When taking the total cumulated installed capacity into account, France is one of the biggest markets worldwide with 8GW. For 2018 EuPD Research, a market and economic research institute from Bonn, Germany, estimates around 13.500 PV installations in the residential segment (≤ 10 kWp), which will amount to roughly 70MW. In addition, EuPD Research forecasts around 2.000 residential storage installation in France in 2018, which will add up to a mere 9MWh net capacity of residential storage.

However, more and more energy storage players are pushing into the French market. The German manufacturer sonnen entered into a partnership with Engie, who in turn offer French households a package called “My Power”, which involves the sonnen battery storage system. Furthermore, the French electric utility company Électricité de France (EDF) announced their plans to install a further 10GW of energy storage worldwide by 2035.

One of the main drivers for energy storage is the installers. Studies from EuPD Research have shown that installers are essential when it comes to the choice of technology and brand. Therefore, EuPD Research surveys European and Australian PV installers every year. The “PV InstallerMonitor 2017/2018 France”, in which 100 French installers were surveyed, shows that 32% of the installers already offer energy storage in their portfolio. This is not the lowest share in the European comparison, but is far off the 81% of German installers, who already carry energy storage in their portfolio.

Percentage of offered storage solutions for PV systems in France | Source: EuPD Research

Percentage of offered storage solutions for PV systems in France | Source: EuPD Research

It is significant to point out, that whereas by the end of 2016 60% of the surveyed French installers claimed they will not offer energy storage in their portfolio, by the end of 2017 that share decreased to 34%. However, one third of all French installers are still not willing to include energy storage in their portfolio. The by far main reason is that these installers claim the prices for energy storage is still too high. The following reasons are all valued equally important, and range from the technological progress not being convincing, environmental and security concerns all the way to a lack of training and expertise. It is promising though, that the share of installers, who are planning to integrate energy storage in their portfolio, has increased from 5% to 34%.

In addition, nearly half of all the installers mentioned that they recommend national or regional support programs for energy storage installations, whereas only a small few are really satisfied with the offered programs (25% of the surveyed installers claim they are not satisfied at all). Furthermore, French installers tend to use energy storage manufacturers, who not only offer a high quality, but who can also provide specific security certifications and offer reliable delivery information. These issues are key to French installers, who generally claim that they are satisfied with their suppliers in regards to these topics.

For the Global PV InstallerMonitor 2017/2018© EuPD Research surveyed photovoltaic installers in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, the UK and Australia. The country studies can be obtained as a package or individually. The Global PV InstallerMonitor 2017/2018© deals with the topics of brand management, market penetration, procurement and satisfaction. The sectors modules, inverters, wholesalers and storage systems are analyzed. Many evaluations are displayed on a brand level. Further information about the study can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Saif Islam, Senior Consultant at EuPD Research under + 4922897143-20 | s.islam@eupd-research.com.

Saif Islam,
Senior Consultant,
EuPD Research

 

 

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