02 May 2024, 13:28
Carolina Kyllmann

Almost third of German residents want plug-in solar system – survey

Clean Energy Wire

Almost a third of Germany's residents are planning to install – or have already installed – a small plug-in solar photovoltaic (PV) unit, often known as a balcony power plant, according to a survey conducted by energy tariff comparison portal Verivox. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they planned to purchase such a system for a balcony, the garden, terrace or flat roof, while eight percent said they already had one. Twenty-eight percent said they lacked the space to install such a unit, 23 percent were not interested and one fifth of respondents said that it would not pay off.

"Under ideal conditions, a balcony power plant with an output of 800 watts can supply around 760 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year," Verivox said. Assuming that users consume 60 percent of this and the price is 35.31 cents/kWh, residents would save around 161 euros per year, Verivox calculated, with the purchase cost amortised in three to four years.

Balcony power plants are a relatively simple and affordable way for both tenants and homeowners to save on electricity costs. Germany has recently simplified the rules for installing and operating them: units can now be plugged in to regular home sockets, the legal requirements have been trimmed down, and the allowed capacity of individual modules has been increased from 600 to 800 watts. Previously, consumers wishing to install plug-in solar devices faced hurdles, such as required meter changes, landlord consent and the need to fill out two separate registration forms. More than 400,000 mini plug-in PV systems have been registered with the country’s grid agency (BNetzA).

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