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Generate electricity yourself

Gen­er­at­ing your own elec­tric­i­ty is becom­ing increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar. Ris­ing ener­gy costs and the high envi­ron­men­tal impact of gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­i­ty from fos­sil fuels are prompt­ing more and more peo­ple to gen­er­ate their own elec­tric­i­ty. This not only saves costs, but also pro­tects the envi­ron­ment and active­ly con­tributes to the ener­gy tran­si­tion. Curi­ous? Here you can find out how much elec­tric­i­ty you can gen­er­ate your­self, how you can pro­duce elec­tric­i­ty your­self and use it in your own house­hold and why a bal­cony PV sys­tem is par­tic­u­lar­ly suit­able for this.

How can I generate electricity myself?

If you want to pro­duce your own elec­tric­i­ty and become less depen­dent on ener­gy com­pa­nies, there are var­i­ous options.

Windrad Icon

Mit Windkraft selber Strom produzieren

A small wind ener­gy sys­tem can be installed in the gar­den or on the roof. How­ev­er, the pur­chase is often expen­sive for pri­vate indi­vid­u­als and the out­put varies great­ly depend­ing on the loca­tion of the wind ener­gy con­vert­er or wind tur­bine. Due to the unpre­dictabil­i­ty of the actu­al self-gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty, wind ener­gy sys­tems per­form rather poor­ly in terms of eco­nom­ic effi­cien­cy com­pared to bal­cony PV systems.

Solar

Solarstrom selbst erzeugen

A sim­ple and worth­while option is to pro­duce elec­tric­i­ty using your own bal­cony PV sys­tem. A small pho­to­volta­ic sys­tem on the bal­cony con­verts solar ener­gy into house­hold elec­tric­i­ty with the help of solar pan­els and invert­ers. The pur­chase of a bal­cony solar sys­tem is com­par­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive and you can install it your­self.

Bettr

Other ways to generate electricity

Apart from wind pow­er and solar pow­er, there are of course oth­er options for envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­a­tion, name­ly hydro­elec­tric and bio­mass pow­er sys­tems. How­ev­er, both are asso­ci­at­ed with high main­te­nance costs and, in some cas­es, high pur­chas­ing costs and are there­fore less suit­able for start­ing to gen­er­ate your own electricity.

As you can see, you can pro­duce your own elec­tric­i­ty in dif­fer­ent ways — and in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly way too! The next ques­tion is, of course, the cost-ben­e­fit analy­sis. Here, too, we will be hap­py to help you and show you the advan­tages and disadvantages.

Is it worth it to generate electricity myself?

Have we sparked your inter­est in gen­er­at­ing your own elec­tric­i­ty with a bal­cony PV sys­tem? Then it’s time to dis­cuss the pros and cons to help you decide. Atten­tion, spoil­er: The advan­tages win out.

Pros

    • More inde­pen­dence from the grid
      If you install a bal­cony PV sys­tem, you can cov­er part of your own con­sump­tion with the solar pow­er you gen­er­ate your­self. This makes you less depen­dent on the elec­tric­i­ty provider and — not to be under­es­ti­mat­ed — also on grid sta­bil­i­ty. In the case of a black­out, for exam­ple, you won’t be left in the dark with your own elec­tric­i­ty! What’s more, by gen­er­at­ing and con­sum­ing elec­tric­i­ty on a decen­tralised basis, you also reduce the load on the grid.
    • Cost sav­ings
      Gen­er­at­ing your own elec­tric­i­ty also means that you have to buy less elec­tric­i­ty from the grid oper­a­tor. This notice­ably reduces your annu­al elec­tric­i­ty costs. If you also feed elec­tric­i­ty into the pub­lic grid, you ben­e­fit from a feed-in tar­iff. You can read more about feed-in reg­u­la­tions in our arti­cle on bal­cony PV sys­tem reg­u­la­tions.
    • Con­tribut­ing to envi­ron­men­tal protection
      With your own solar pow­er, you make an impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the ener­gy tran­si­tion. Regard­less of whether you con­sume your self-gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty in your house­hold or feed addi­tion­al elec­tric­i­ty into the grid: You are ensur­ing that the elec­tric­i­ty mix becomes greener.
    • Sub­sidy options
      There are var­i­ous options for obtain­ing fed­er­al or state sub­si­dies for bal­cony PV sys­tems. Find out which sub­sidy options are avail­able for your loca­tion before you buy.

Cons

    • Invest­ment costs
      Strict­ly speak­ing, this point still belongs to the advan­tages, because: Of course, if you want to gen­er­ate elec­tric­i­ty your­self, you have to invest first. Since the begin­ning of 2023, bal­cony PV sys­tems have been exempt from tax in Ger­many. This means you save 19% VAT on the pur­chase, which makes the pur­chase even more attrac­tive. You can get a com­plete set from around 500 euros. As solar pan­els have an aver­age ser­vice life of 20–25 years, the invest­ment costs are amor­tised sev­er­al times over the life cycle.
    • Main­te­nance costs and effort
      Again, not a real dis­ad­van­tage: main­te­nance is gen­er­al­ly lim­it­ed to clean­ing the solar pan­els and reg­u­lar­ly check­ing all parts for wear or dam­age. Most solar pan­els have a manufacturer’s war­ran­ty of 25 years, while invert­ers for bal­cony pow­er plants have a war­ran­ty of up to 12 years. It is worth tak­ing a look at the qual­i­ty of the prod­ucts when buying.
    • Lim­it­ed capacity
      In Ger­many, the upper lim­it for the capac­i­ty with which bal­cony PV sys­tems are allowed to gen­er­ate elec­tric­i­ty is cur­rent­ly 600 watts. In Aus­tria, it is already 800 watts. How­ev­er, an equal­i­sa­tion of the upper lim­it in Ger­many is already planned for 2024.
    • Depen­dence on envi­ron­men­tal conditions
      This is a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant fac­tor for wind ener­gy sys­tems. Depend­ing on the loca­tion, a wind tur­bine can gen­er­ate lit­tle or no ener­gy over a long peri­od of time, espe­cial­ly with­out stor­age. How­ev­er, if you want to gen­er­ate your own solar pow­er, you can rest assured: Even when the sky is cloudy, the sun’s rays get through, so that elec­tric­i­ty can be pro­duced through­out the day.

What do I have to keep in mind if I generate electricity myself?

There are a num­ber of legal require­ments for cit­i­zens who wish to gen­er­ate their own elec­tric­i­ty at home. These include reg­u­la­tions on reg­is­ter­ing with the grid oper­a­tor and ener­gy sup­pli­er, the max­i­mum feed-in tar­iff and the way in which feed­ing into the grid is per­mit­ted. Here is a brief overview of the most impor­tant top­ics. If you have decid­ed to gen­er­ate elec­tric­i­ty with a bal­cony PV sys­tem, you should inform your­self in as much detail as pos­si­ble so that you are always on the safe side legally.

  • Where do I have to register a balcony PV system that I use to generate electricity myself?

    In Ger­many, you must reg­is­ter bal­cony PV sys­tems with the grid oper­a­tor. The same applies in Switzer­land. The pow­er lim­it for self-gen­er­at­ed solar pow­er is 600 watts in both coun­tries. An increase to 800 watts is planned in Ger­many in the first quar­ter of 2024. When reg­is­ter­ing, you must state the max­i­mum out­put as well as the man­u­fac­tur­er and ser­i­al num­ber of your bal­cony pow­er plant. In Aus­tria, bal­cony PV sys­tems are reg­is­tered with the ener­gy sup­pli­er (elec­tric­i­ty provider). The pow­er lim­it here is 800 watts.

  • How much electricity can I generate myself without registering?

    Pri­vate indi­vid­u­als with a bal­cony PV sys­tem are not allowed to gen­er­ate elec­tric­i­ty them­selves in Ger­many with­out reg­is­ter­ing. Noti­fi­ca­tion of com­mis­sion­ing and entry in the mar­ket mas­ter data reg­is­ter are cur­rent­ly still manda­to­ry. How­ev­er, accord­ing to the Fed­er­al Min­istry for Eco­nom­ic Affairs and Cli­mate Pro­tec­tion, both are to be sim­pli­fied or even com­plete­ly can­celled as part of the imple­men­ta­tion of “Solar Pack­age I” of the Pho­to­volta­ic Strat­e­gy 2023¹.

  • Can I feed self-generated solar power into the grid?

    Yes, you can the­o­ret­i­cal­ly feed all the elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­at­ed by the bal­cony PV sys­tem into the grid. To do this, you need a feed-in com­mit­ment from the grid oper­a­tor and a suit­able invert­er that con­verts the direct cur­rent gen­er­at­ed into grid cur­rent (alter­nat­ing cur­rent). In addi­tion, tech­ni­cal require­ments must be met to ensure con­tin­u­ous grid stability.

  • How do I get a feed-in tariff?

    If you are grant­ed feed-in approval after reg­is­ter­ing with the grid oper­a­tor, you can also apply direct­ly for a feed-in tar­iff for self-gen­er­at­ed solar pow­er. The amount of the feed-in tar­iff depends on var­i­ous fac­tors, for exam­ple the time of com­mis­sion­ing. In most cas­es, how­ev­er, the bureau­crat­ic and tech­ni­cal effort for a mini solar sys­tem is not worth it. But that does­n’t mat­ter, because: You will need the major­i­ty of your self-gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty for your own house­hold anyway.

Conclusion: Generating electricity yourself is easy and worth it!

Now that we have dis­cussed and con­sid­ered the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of gen­er­at­ing your own elec­tric­i­ty, it should be clear that the pur­chase of a bal­cony PV sys­tem is def­i­nite­ly worth­while. Both finan­cial­ly and from an envi­ron­men­tal point of view, self-gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric­i­ty, espe­cial­ly solar pow­er, is a sig­nif­i­cant and long-term reduc­tion in costs. As many nations are grad­u­al­ly turn­ing their backs on fos­sil fuels, you can join what is prob­a­bly the most impor­tant turn­ing point of the mil­len­ni­um with self-gen­er­at­ed green elec­tric­i­ty from your bal­cony. So, let’s get the solar pan­els ready and go!

PV system installation

Pri­vate­ly used PV sys­tems are becom­ing increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar. The order for a PV sys­tem instal­la­tion involves a num­ber of tasks for you as an installer: The sys­tem must be planned togeth­er with the client before it is installed and con­nect­ed to the house­hold grid. Find out in this arti­cle how easy and time-sav­ing the instal­la­tion of the Solar­na­tive sys­tem is.

Is photovoltaics worth it

Those con­sid­er­ing pur­chas­ing a solar ener­gy sys­tem often ask them­selves whether the pur­chase and instal­la­tion costs are actu­al­ly worth it. You may find many dif­fer­ent answers on the sub­ject of “Is pho­to­voltaics worth it?” online, some of which con­tain con­tra­dic­to­ry or even mis­in­for­ma­tion and are some­times writ­ten from a sub­jec­tive point of view. Here,we will pro­vide you with sol­id facts, up-to-date infor­ma­tion and valu­able deci­­sion-mak­ing aids for the pur­chase of a pri­vate solar ener­gy sys­tem for your own home.

Photovoltaic subsidisation

Immer mehr Haus­be­sitzer streben eine Solaran­lage auf ihrem Dach an, um ihren eige­nen Strom zu erzeu­gen. Dies bietet nicht nur die Möglichkeit, erhe­bliche Kosten zu sparen, son­dern verbessert auch die Umwelt­bi­lanz erhe­blich. Bei größeren Pho­­to­­voltaik-Anla­­gen ist jedoch die Finanzierung oft ein Anliegen, das viele beschäftigt. Erfahren Sie alles Wis­senswerte zur Förderung von Pho­to­voltaik in diesem Artikel.