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Market Trend Report #1: Solar Energy, Devices and Gadgets in Germany

“If you’re going for cuteness, the stuff in the home is the place to go. It’s really kind of cool to have solar panels on your roof. But if you’re really interested in the energy problem, it’s those big things in the desert.”, said Bill Gates in an interview in 2011. 7 years later we think there are massive opportunities for end consumer solar brands, especially in Germany. It is quite a hot topic with lots of ground still to be covered!

We took a closer look at Germany´s solar market and found a few striking facts about its current state and projected developments.

Germany’s conceives itself as a “solar market”. The high consumer demand for renewable energy continues to drive growth in this segment.

Drivers for Future Growth of Solar Power

There are two main drivers that determine the future growth of solar power in Germany:

  1. Rise of electro mobility: More than 90 percent of the German households planning to buy an electric car intend to invest in photovoltaic panels within the next two years.
  2. Falling prices for solar thermal energy storage: The amount of solar thermal energy storage installed in German households more than doubled since 2015.

Innovative technologies and lower costs will further strengthen the position of solar energy not only on the energy market but also in the minds of end consumers.

This growth has been very significant in recent years:

  • Energy from renewable energy sources increased from 3.4 percent in 1990 to 27.4 percent in 2014.
  • The share of solar energy generated through photovoltaics increased from 0,1 percent in 2003 to 6,1 percent in 2017.
  • Share of photovoltaics in gross electricity generation in Germany in the years 2002 to 2017:

Consumer Trend in Solar Energy

Falling prices and a much broader range of products due to an increasing number of electricity producers and green electricity tariffs make the market much more flexible and convenient for end consumers.

Today it is much easier to switch to renewable energy. This is also a strong driving force for additional growth and rising demand in the solar market.

In 2018, the number of German households that harvest solar power reached 1 million.

Technical developments: better, cheaper, easier

Scientists and researchers around the world are making great efforts to make harvest solar power better, cheaper and easier to use in the future.

The technical performance of solar cells is constantly improving and will continue to do so in the future. In addition, the use of photovoltaic energy expands into the realms of daily life through the development of a variety of new applications. Today, you can find small solar cells in simple objects such as flashlights or backpacks.

People will increasingly familiarize with solar powered devices and gadgets along with the trend that solar energy will be part of urban infrastructure, generated on roads, in water basins or even in airplanes.

Highly Scattered Market for Solar Gadgets and Devices in the D-A-CH-Region

Since the demand for solar energy and the installation of photovoltaic systems in Germany continues to rise, fueled by increasing amount of electric cars and decreasing prices of solar energy storage, awareness for the topic amongst Germans is unquestionable.

But market research for solar powered gadgets and devices shows that they not yet have had the breakthrough in Germany. Also, the end consumer market is highly scattered in terms of producers and brands.

There are only a few D-A-CH brands (i.e. Sunnybags, Sonnenrepublik) having a good web presence, but most gadgets are offered via no-name manufacturers and wholesalers on Amazon. Because of this, the overall perception of this segment is rather “nerdy” as it has not yet reached mainstream consumption.

Market Opportunity for End Consumer Solar Brands in Germany

Compared to this pronounced market trend, the market for solar powered devices and gadgets as an alternative to conventional electric consumer goods is arguably underdeveloped.

This implies huge potential for end consumer brands to trigger a trend that will initiate a mindshift towards buying solar powered devices that align with the increasing green mentality of Germans.

The potential especially lies in branding, communications and marketing as you can’t find many sources dedicated to structure the end consumer market.

No blogs, no market size estimations, no mainstream trend – overall only scarce information, a big knowledge gap a new brand can claim in future for successful positioning.

Are you going to take that position?