Balcony power plant, Source: Depositphotos

City aid for ‘balcony power plants’ in Jena, Germany

City aid for ‘balcony power plants’ in Jena, Germany

The subsidy will help renters take part in the production of cheap and climate-friendly energy

Yesterday, local authorities in the German town of Jena launched their first-ever aid scheme for photovoltaics (PV) aimed at citizens. The city claims that, while lacking in resources, this aid can help individual households lower their energy bills through quick and easy-to-install ‘balcony PV systems’.

‘Balcony PV systems’ are easy to install, on your balcony, small photovoltaic cells, that are plugged directly into a socket. Because they do not need construction interventions, they are a perfect way for people who live in rental accommodation.

The system is capable of producing a maximum of 600 watts, however, it would still help to reduce electricity bills. Additionally, it will also let households test out the benefits of cheap and sustainable energy and take part in the sustainability transition.

Targeted aid

Local authorities have allocated a budget of 100,000 euros for the funding programme. Additionally, they plan to fund 25% of the final cost of a balcony PV system per household, to a maximum of 200 euros. Additionally, they have also created a funding mechanism for vulnerable groups.

According to an official statement, anyone who is already receiving social benefits can apply for aid and the city will cover 75% or a maximum of 600 euros. While not too generous compared to similar initiatives in other municipalities, this subsidy scheme would allow the city to offer immediate assistance to households.

Moreover, because the systems do not need to go through a complex installation process, the aid can kick in immediately after it ends up in households’ budgets.

Mayor Thomas Nitzsche explained that the rising electricity prices are an issue for a lot of Jena residents. At the same time, self-generated solar energy is gaining popularity. And while homeowners can install PV systems on their property, this is much more difficult for people who rent.

This is where the balcony power plant can help, offering tenants the opportunity to generate climate-friendly and cheap energy.  



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