In less than a year, Germany’s solar power storage has become significantly cheaper. The most recent data from the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) shows that the price of solar storage has dropped a whole 25 percent since spring.

This is a good sign for the solar industry overall, as one of the challenges for solar customers is generating energy during cloudy weather and during night hours. Solar storage is a technology that allows homeowners to save their surplus energy, but until now it has remained cost prohibitive even while the price of solar panels has dropped.

Worker installing solar panels on a barn in Binsham, Germany (Source: Creative Commons)

Worker installing solar panels on a barn in Binsham, Germany (Source: Creative Commons)

As more households install solar panels, however, the demand for solar storage has risen. KfW, Germany’s development bank, has approved 32 percent more funding applications for home solar storage in Q3 2014, and roughly 15,000 German households are currently using a combination of battery storage and solar panels.

This strong solar growth is part of Germany’s Energiewende, a state-driven mandate to power Germany entirely on renewable sources by 2050. As the price of both solar installation and solar battery storage falls, Germans are coming ever closer to fulfilling that goal.

“This is a nice Christmas present for the Energiewende,” says Carsten Körnig, Managing Director of BSW-Solar, in a press release, “and for all operators of solar power systems. Affordable solar storage systems mean that operators can now fulfill their wish for more energy independence and can count on stable electricity prices in the long term.”

The news of cheaper solar storage coincides with a report from AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB), a German energy market research group, that shows greenhouse gas emissions dropped to a record low in 2014. Total energy use this year fell 4.8 percent compared to the same time in 2013 and is projected to fall even further.

The decline in energy use is partially attributable to milder weather, which necessitated less heating from oil-fired systems. However, the drop in coal-generated power bespeaks a reduced electricity demand overall. According to AGEB, renewables were the only energy sources that did not show a downward trend this year. Renewable energies slightly increased their contribution to the overall market.

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