Germany: Yield-dependent funding for solar thermal is off to a good start

27.10.2015
Large solar thermal systems are still a small market segment. Funding in this sector is now also based on yield, not just on surface area. (Photo: Ritter)
Large solar thermal systems are still a small market segment. Funding in this sector is now also based on yield, not just on surface area. (Photo: Ritter)

On 1 April, Germany introduced yield-dependent funding for solar thermal systems. Even if the funding does not go as far as some had hoped, it is apparently enjoying a high level of acceptance.

In addition to the regular funding system, which is based on collector area, the market incentive programme (MAP) that was introduced in April provides funding based on the annual yield. According to information that has recently become available, 30% of all new applications for funding for large solar thermal systems are based on yield-dependent remuneration.

The important thing in this context is the adjective 'large'; this funding option is not yet available for small systems. In the sector for regular building-mounted systems, collector arrays between 20 and 100 m² are the only ones that can receive this funding.

A flat funding rate will be paid out based on a calculated annual collector yield in Würzburg in Bavaria. This information can be found on the SolarKeymark data sheet that every collector in Germany must have to be eligible for regular surface area-based funding. The Europe-wide data sheet also provides information on annual yield at the locations Athens, Davos and Stockholm, making it easier to compare yields across Europe.

One important detail is the fact that the term 'yield-dependent' is slightly misleading. Funding is based on a calculated value for the location Würzburg under clearly defined conditions, and that value may only indirectly correlate with the actual yield of the solar energy system.

The annual yield value on the data sheet provides solid information on the efficiency of the collector, and good solar collectors are certainly a prerequisite for achieving a high yield with a heating system. However, a complete system consists of many more components than just the collectors. Yield-dependent funding does not take the hydraulics, storage system, control system and various other factors into account.

For this reason, it would be more accurate to call it a funding programme for premium collectors because yield-dependent funding is only interesting if the collectors generate a relatively high annual yield.

There is currently just one formula for paying out yield-dependent funding. The annual collector yield is multiplied by € 0.45, and the result is the corresponding funding amount. It is not relevant whether the system is used only for hot water or in a combined system that also supports the heating system.

Jan Gesthuizen

Similar Entries

Acron-Sunmark solar collector field

The biggest solar district heating system in Germany will begin construction shortly. Arcon-Sunmark is responsible for building the turnkey project on behalf of Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim. The solar heating system will be operational by the end of 2019.

A massive drone-based inspection campaign on 1,250 Vestas turbines (pict. Sulzer Schmid)

Sulzer Schmid, a Swiss company pioneering UAV technology for rotor blade inspections, and WKA, the leading blade inspection and repair service provider, have been enlisted by Vestas to conduct a massive and challenging drone-based blade inspection campaign in Scandinavia, on a staggering 1,250 wind turbines in less than 12 weeks.

As the pilot phase shows, the patented innovation developed by plusAmpere has enormous potential: The use of the innovative reflector and calculation system improves the worldwide yields of photovoltaic facilities (PV facilities), making them more profitable and cost-efficient (pict. plusAmpere)

The company plusAmpere introduces an innovative “reflector and calculation system” offering an efficient and inexpensive way of increasing the overall yield of existing and newly planned photovoltaic and solar thermal facilities.

Global Energy Storage Systems Market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $340 billion to over $500 billion by 2025; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.