In March 2014, Japan’s Toshiba Toshiba Corporation plans to start selling electricity from rooftop solar power installations directly to consumers in Germany through a partnership with one of Germany’s largest real-estate companies, according to Reuters.
The partnership with Gagfah SAS SAS will allow Toshiba to install solar panels on residential properties in two towns in southern Germany near Stuttgart. The power produced by the solar panels will be pumped directly into the homes.
The consumers would pay for the solar panels and sell the power they produced back to Toshiba, which would take the place of an energy utility and sell it directly to consumers at a lower price than that of the grid. The initial deployment will involve installing solar panels at about 7oo homes, including storage batteries added to the local network to supplement and smooth the intermittent supply from the solar panels.
The direct-to-consumers sales strategy will be the first for any solar-panel. The strategy may become a precedent for other solar developers to bypass the electric power grid and the electric utilities that control them. The implications of this model for Germany’s energy economy are potentially massive.
Toshiba believes that it can reduce costs and sell lower-priced power to consumers without relying on subsidies, which have attracted considerable controversy in recent months due to rise in electricity bills.
Toshiba will strive to install a capacity of 100 megawatts of solar power and generate about $200 million in revenues from the sale of electricity over the next three years, according to Reuters.