Tenants will be able to benefit rom reduced energy tariffs , Source: City of Stuttgart

Public housing in Stuttgart is getting a solar powered makeover

Public housing in Stuttgart is getting a solar powered makeover

Two municipal companies have teamed up to provide PV systems on the roofs of social housing units

Last week, local authorities in Stuttgart announced a cooperation agreement between the municipal housing and urban development company - Stuttgarter Wohnungs‐ und Stadtbaugesellschaft (SWSG) and Stadtwerke Stuttgart (State-works Stuttgart). The agreement focuses on installing photovoltaic systems on the roofs of existing and future public housing buildings.

According to the statement, apart from pushing the city further along in its sustainable goals, tenants in public housing will benefit from reduced electricity bills, because of the green electricity tariff.

The city has stated that the first systems will be installed in the summer of 2022.

Municipal company cooperation can create a multiplication effect

Before an official agreement between the two companies was signed, they carried out analyses to ensure the best course of action for achieving the goals of both publicly owned bodies.

The SWSG is Stuttgart’s municipal housing company and it operates 19,000 rental apartments, providing affordable housing in the city. This makes it one of the more economically strong public housing companies in Germany, playing a vital role in the city’s housing market as well as in urban development.

Stadtwerke Stuttgart, on the other hand, is a relatively new company, established in 2011, with the express goal of promoting the local transition to renewable energy. Since then, it has been tasked with investing in solar and wind expansion. Nuclear and coal are strictly off the table.

According to the preliminary analyses, at peak solar power production, the SWSG is capable of a 25-megawatt output. This can power around 9,000 apartments, so, nearly half of their entire stock.

The solar expansion should happen at a rate of around three to five megawatts per year. This should lead to a 2.5% to 4% reduction of SWSG’s CO2 emissions.

The city – setting up legislation to speed up the climate transition

Back in July of 2021, the state government of Baden-Württemberg introduced a law that will mandate all private citizens to install photovoltaic systems when they do roof renovations. The law should come into effect on 1 January 2023.

Furthermore, the same rule will start to apply to newly constructed buildings and car parks with more than 35 cells from 1 May 2022.

The decision stems from the state government’s ambition to outpace federal climate goals in Germany. Indeed, the German government has set itself to achieve a 90% carbon neutral status by 2050, while state leaders in Baden-Württemberg have set their sights on carbon neutrality by 2040.

The new agreement between SWSG and Stadtwerke Stuttgart seems to stem from a need to meet the state government’s deadlines on the municipal level. However, it is somewhat late in terms of municipal laws on municipal buildings and sustainable energy. Hamburg, for instance, mandated photovoltaic systems on the roofs of all municipally-owned buildings back in August.



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