In Sachsen-Anhalt, a housing association has installed a PV system with Q CELLS solar modules on the roofs of their apartment buildings, providing tenants with low-cost electricity. Connected since late April, the PV system on the buildings of the Wolfen GmbH housing and building association has a total capacity of over 160 kWp. Tenants with the housing association are able to use the solar power produced on their roof at very attractive terms, immediately lowering their electricity costs. The power system consists of three solar plants. All the basic services were provided by local partners of the solar industry in Sachsen-Anhalt. The PV system was developed and built by Engynious Clean Power GmbH, located in Muldestausee in Germany. “With this PV project, we’re demonstrating that new business models and quality work can still function successfully in Germany,” says Dr. Ted Scheidegger, Chairman at the Engynious Group. Helionat eG from Magdeburg, a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, are committing themselves as an investor in the solar project. Residents are able to share in the power plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen within an energy cooperative. “Renewable energy by the people for the people is just the sort of thing we stand for, and here is a prime example of that”, says Helionat chairman Jörg Dahlke. The solar modules were developed and produced by Hanwha Q CELLS, the largest European photovoltaics provider headquartered in Thalheim, Germany. “We’re very pleased that our products, ‘engineered and made in Thalheim’, are being used locally and for the benefit of our region. What’s more, it’s being done as part of a pathbreaking new business model for the solar industry in Germany,” says Ralf Wirth, Key Account Director for German-speaking countries at Hanwha Q CELLS.
“This partnership is one more opportunity for us to disprove the very idea that renewable energy and low-cost utilities don’t go together. The power plant shows that the solar industry keeps the social factor in mind and uses its business models to contribute to fairer distribution of the costs of the energy revolution,” says Dr. Andreas von Zitzewitz, COO at Hanwha Q CELLS and member of the board of directors at the German Solar Industry Association. The self-consumed solar power costs tenants less than conventional electricity from traditional electricity providers. Von Zitzewitz adds, “The federal government picked the wrong strategy for lowering electricity costs. But, with this model, the solar industry is directly contributing to making electricity affordable for private households.”
For years and quite justifiably, politics have been demanding subsidy-independent business models from the solar industry. With its Renewable Energies Act (EEG) and the introduction of a sort of “sun tax”, the Cabinet has placed obstacles in the way of achieving this goal, as well as self-sustaining business models, such as tenants’ electricity supply from PV systems. Self-consumption of solar power using devices with a capacity of over 10 kWp is to become subject to a fee as of August 2014. “The government is standing in its own way. Instead of preventing an additional rise in the cost of electricity, what was intended as a way to curb electricity costs is actually becoming a cost-driver,” says von Zitzewitz. Because for some customers the subsidy-independent self-consumption business model will then no longer be economical. This could also result in a halt to investments in subsidy-independent models and in the energy transition (“Energiewende”). “Self-sustaining business models, which reduce the costs of the energy revolution, will then soon become a thing of the past before they’ve even really taken off. This is why we’re supporting the opposition to these plans which is currently developing in the Bundesrat.”
The direct supply of tenants with environmentally-friendly solar power from the roof of the landlord is to be taxed at 100 percent of the cost contribution (approx. 6.2 cents/kWh). Opposition is developing in the Bundesrat against these plans by the federal government. The Chamber of States is demanding that solar power for private and tenant supply should, in future, be taxed at a significantly lower rate than that intended by the federal government.
The energy cooperative Helionat eG is pursuing the active participation of local residents in renewable energies. Mostly installed on communal roofs, the PV systems have an active influence on local energy policy and, at the same time, strengthen regional economic circles. Wherever possible, only equipment from Sachsen-Anhalt is used, and the revenue from the sale of electricity stays in the region. Further information is available at: www.helionat.de
About the Engynious Group
Founded in 2001, Engynious develops trailblazing solutions for the production and use of solar power to supply the need for decentralised energy. Their solutions are based on a high level of technical expertise and many years of experience in business. Through continued technological advancement and innovative business models, the company is transforming renewable energy into a real alternative for sustainable, long-term energy supply. Further information is available at: www.engynious.com
About Hanwha Q CELLS
Hanwha Q CELLS is headquartered in Germany and one of the world’s leading photovoltaics companies, offering a wide range of high quality photovoltaic products, solutions and services “Engineered in Germany”. Next to its premium quality products from high-quality solar modules to systems and power plants the company also offers long-term partnership and financial stability being part of the South Korean Top-Ten business enterprise Hanwha Group. At its headquarters in Thalheim (Germany) Hanwha Q CELLS has a unique setup of R&D and production enabling the company to develop technologically leading products and innovative manufacturing methods. The cell production sites in Malaysia and Germany and the module production line in Germany are the core of manufacturing. In addition, the company converts its high-efficiency solar cells into modules in cooperation with certified contractors in Europe and Asia. Hanwha Q CELLS sells its products via its international sales network with branches in Germany (HQ), Malaysia, Korea, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. Thanks to its truly international setup, high quality products and the financial stability, Hanwha Q CELLS is the reliable partner for PV customers around the globe. For more information, visit: www.q-cells.com