2023-08-11 | Boom in Balcony Power Plant
Boom in Balcony Power Plant:
A balcony power plant or mini solar power system in condominiums
Rising energy costs and growing environmental awareness have led to an increased use of renewable energies in recent years. An interesting development in this area are the so-called “balcony power plants”, also known as mini-solar systems, which are increasingly being installed in condominiums.
Mini-solar plants are small photovoltaic systems that can be installed on the balcony or terrace of flats. They usually consist of solar modules, an inverter and a junction box. These systems are easy to install and do not require any elaborate structural measures. Due to their compact size and flexible mounting options, they can be placed almost anywhere as long as they receive enough sunlight.
Advantages of mini-solar systems (“balcony power plants”)
The main advantage of mini-solar systems in condominiums is the possibility of using the generated electricity oneself. The solar power generated can be fed directly into one’s own household to cover one’s own energy needs. This allows residents to reduce their electricity costs and become less dependent on expensive energy suppliers.
Another advantage of mini solar systems is their environmental friendliness. By using solar energy as a renewable energy source, they help reduce CO2 emissions and support the expansion of renewable energy. In addition, they require little maintenance and have a long lifespan, making them a sustainable investment.
However, mini-solar systems not only offer benefits for the residents of the condominiums, but also for society as a whole. The decentralised generation of electricity through solar energy relieves the public power grid and reduces the need for the expansion of large power plants. In addition, the use of mini solar systems can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
If you are the owner of a property, you cannot avoid the topic of energy. Energy-efficient renovation of old buildings with appropriate insulation measures are just as important as the heating of your own four walls. In our experience, many property owners find it very difficult to find the right heating technology and to keep track of the financial hurdles.
Is it allowed to install mini-solar systems in condominiums in Germany?
The use of renewable energies, such as solar energy, is explicitly supported in Germany. The German government aims to continuously increase the share of renewable energies in the electricity supply. Mini solar systems on balconies offer an opportunity for private households to generate their own electricity and thereby contribute to the energy transition.
The installation of mini solar systems, also known as “balcony power plants”, in condominiums is generally permitted in Germany.
However, there are certain regulations and conditions that must be observed in order to operate such a system legally and safely.
- First of all, it is important to obtain the consent of the other owners in the housing complex. Since it is common property, the interests of all residents must be taken into account.
- Furthermore, compliance with building regulations and applicable standards is necessary. Mini-solar systems must not detract from the appearance of the condominium or pose safety risks. It is important that the systems are installed professionally to avoid fire hazards or static problems.
- In addition, the legal and technical requirements for connection to the electricity grid must be met. The electricity generated can either be used directly in one’s own household or fed into the public grid. In both cases, certain specifications must be observed, for example with regard to feed-in management or the measurement of the electricity generated.
Challenges of installing mini solar systems in condominiums
Despite these advantages, however, there are also some challenges when using mini solar systems in condominiums. On the one hand, the legal framework conditions must be observed, as not every condominium association allows the installation of solar modules. It is therefore important to obtain the consent of the other condominium owners before installation and, if necessary, to fulfil structural requirements.
Secondly, the efficiency of mini solar systems depends on the orientation of the balcony and the amount of sunlight. Not all balconies are suitable for the installation of solar modules, as they may be in the shade or not receive enough sun. A thorough site analysis is therefore necessary before installation to ensure the efficiency of the system.
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What KfW subsidies are available in Germany for the installation of “balcony power plants in condominiums?
An important funding channel for the installation of mini solar systems is the KfW-Programm “Erneuerbare Energien – Standard”. Under this programme, flat owners can receive subsidies for the purchase and installation of balcony power plants. The subsidy amounts to up to 20 percent of the eligible costs and can reach an amount of several hundred euros. However, in order to benefit from this funding, certain technical requirements must be met. For example, the mini solar plant must not exceed a certain power limit and must be integrated into the building’s electricity grid.
In addition to grants, KfW also offers favourable loans for the installation of mini solar systems. The “Erneuerbare Energien – Kredit”programme enables flat owners to take out a loan with low interest rates to finance the costs of purchasing and installing balcony power plants. These loans can be applied for for a term of up to 20 years and thus offer a long-term financing option.
In order to be able to benefit from the KfW subsidies, it is important to find out about the exact requirements and application modalities in advance. Early planning and coordination with specialist companies is advisable to ensure that the mini solar system meets the technical requirements and that the funding can be successfully applied for.
On the topic:
47th Berlin Real Estate Talk on 19.09.2023 with Mr Daniel G. Burgis – Energy Consultant -.
from Black Label Development GmbH
KfW-Programm “Erneuerbare Energien – Standard” [Link]
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