Energy transition ~ take ocasion

General information on the use of solar energy

Solar energy can be used in many different ways. Photovoltaic technology converts sunlight directly into electric current. Solar thermal installations are suitable for heating drinking water and processing hot water for heating systems. They can also be used for cooling and to generate process heat. There is considerable potential in storing solar heat in summer for winter use, and in distributing hot water via local heating grids.

Current figures on the contribution of solar energy to electricity and heat generation in Germany:

Solar heating systems (solar collectors)

Small-scale solar installations are already standard in the heating industry and specialised trades. If you use a solar system to heat your drinking water or back up your heating system, you will be less vulnerable to rising energy prices.

The Renewable Energies Heat Act entered into force on 1 January 2009. It introduces an obligation to use renewable energies for heat supply in new buildings. Solar energy can also be used for this, e.g. by using the building's own solar collectors or by purchasing district heating in combination with a centralised large-scale solar heating system.

Both small- and large-scale solar heating systems are supported by the Market Incentive Programme (in German).

Photovoltaic systems

Photovoltaic systems are supported by the Federal Government with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). The EEG provides a high degree of planning and investment security due to fixed tariffs over a period of 20 years. Different tariffs apply depending on the size of the installations and whether they are roof-mounted or free-standing. Electricity providers are entitled to feed-in tariffs from the relevant grid operator (power supply company) for the generated electricity.

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