24 May 2023, 13:28
Carolina Kyllmann

German econ ministry to simplify installation of plug-in solar ‘balcony power plants’

AFP / Tagesspiegel

Installing plug-in solar run ‘balcony power plants’ in German households should be simplified through a reduction of regulatory hurdles, the country's economy ministry (BMWK) has proposed in a draft bill, news agency AFP reports in an article published by Tagesspiegel. Connecting small plug-in solar photovoltaic (PV) units to balconies or house facades should be made easier by trimming down legal requirements, giving tenants the right to operate the systems in rented flats and ensure the solar power units can be plugged in using conventional sockets, according to the draft bill. Additionally, the economy ministry wants to allow an output of up to 800 watts to be connected to the home’s grid, compared to the current 600-watt limit. Currently, consumers wishing to install plugin solar devices face hurdles such as required meter changes, landlord consent, and the need to fill out two separate registration forms.

Consumer protection groups, NGOs and the electrical engineering association VDE all have called for a “radical simplification” of the registration, installation and commissioning of plugin solar units. The devices allow homeowners and tenants to actively take part in the energy transition, are effective in generating decentralised electricity and can cushion rising electricity prices, NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) said. Germany's capital Berlin recently introduced a seven million euro-subsidy programme for households wanting to install a balcony power plant in a bid to “significantly increase the share of solar power.” Germany aims to cover 80 percent of its electricity demand with renewable energy from 2030, and photovoltaics are expected to make an important contribution.

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