30 Nov 2022, 13:21
Carolina Kyllmann

NGO calls for making use of plug-in solar "balcony power plants" simpler for German households

Clean Energy Wire

A “radical simplification” in the registration, installation and commissioning of plug-in solar units is needed in Germany to involve more homeowners and tenants to actively take part in the energy transition, NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has said. In an initiative to remove regulatory hurdles as quickly as possible, DUH is calling for a widespread use of “balcony power plants” in households. “The small plug-in solar systems for the balcony, front garden, terrace or garage roof are a simple and effective way to generate electricity in a decentralised way, cushion rising electricity prices and reduce your own climate footprint,” the agency said. Currently, consumers wishing to install plug-in solar devices face hurdles, such as required meter changes and landlord consent. Yet, according to the NGO, if plug-in solar devices were installed in all homes in Germany, these could generate electricity equivalent to the output of a large lignite-fired power plant and save over 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

“The pointless discussion about the type of feed-in socket should be brought to an end, free and fast meter exchange by local grid operators should be guaranteed, and residential property law should be reformed,” DUH head Barbara Metz said. According to the NGO, the use of balcony power plants as an option to ramp-up renewable energy capacity has hardly been common in Germany so far, yet it can be implemented immediately and without major problems.

Russia’s war against Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis has driven up energy prices for households and businesses alike. To ensure supply security, the German government plans to expand renewable energies faster and streamline planning and approval procedures for renewable projects, hopes to strengthen energy efficiency, and has presented a strategy to speed up digitalisation.

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