February 25, 2020
◼ Boom in public participation
Photovoltaics increasingly attractive
Citizens benefit doubly from participation models for electricity generation from photovoltaics: on the one hand through green electricity production in their own region, on the other hand through the economic success of the plants. No wonder that such models are very popular with the population. Only recently, citizens in Hollabrunn financed a photovoltaic system and received their investment in the form of a savings account with comparatively attractive interest rates. Such models are already being offered in 70 Lower Austrian municipalities and, according to the Energy and Environment Agency of Lower Austria, with an increasing tendency.
An entire photovoltaic solar park is also being built on the German-French border at the former coal-mining site of Terril Wendel, financed by citizens, local authorities and companies from the region. Over 44,000 photovoltaic modules will be installed on an area of 22.7 hectares. After commissioning, an installed capacity of approximately 18.169 MWh per year will cover the electricity and heating needs of more than 2,600 people and save more than 10,432 tons of CO2 per year.
A further increase in participation models is expected as a result of a new EU directive to be implemented by mid 2021. This directive provides for the establishment of so-called renewable energy communities, which will also allow private individuals and companies to sell electricity generated by their plants. PV expert Dr. Gerhard Rimpler: "This will of course also contribute to making photovoltaics increasingly attractive.