Close to 30 Percent of German Companies to Own Solar Installations

This article at Maschinenmarkt (in German) describes the trend for more and more German companies to build their own solar installations. Right now already 13% of member companies of the DIHK (Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce) own solar capacity to produce their own electricity, and a further 16% plan to deploy some solar panels.

That’s not news for readers of this blog. I already mentioned that fact in November. But this is well worth pointing out repeatedly.

The article then goes on to note the many advantages a company would get from such a move. They have their price locked in for the next decades. Most of them have enough demand to consume everything they generate, so they don’t need to bother with selling anything. And ironically, the rise in the feed-in tariff surcharges actually means this kind of deal becomes more interesting by exactly that margin.

The article also brings some other very encouraging news. They say that some companies are looking at getting their car fleets to electric vehicles and generate the electricity for that themselves with solar. And they assert that this already beats diesel on price. If so, that would help get rid of gasoline engines, which should have been made illegal years ago. Getting the carbon out of transport requires a transition to electric vehicles, and cars owned by companies are a logical starting point.

The feed-in tariffs will still run for another couple of years, until the ceiling is reached in 2015. But it looks more and more like the feed-in tariff actually won’t be needed any more to keep the ball rolling. It always was just a temporary measure. Once the rocket has reached escape velocity, there is no more need for it.


Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

4 thoughts on “Close to 30 Percent of German Companies to Own Solar Installations

  1. I check by myself that the second page indeed does claim a fleet of light EV utility vehicle doing less than 10 000 km a year will be competitive against a diesel one.
    It’s surprising and I’d like to see the numbers and not just the claim.

    One specifically surprising aspect is the reference to less than 10 000 km when you expect that the savings can only come from the fuel cost, and so should be bigger as you drive more. With maybe a requirement that this is only valid for city driving (where diesel is very inefficient and has a much larger per km fuel consumption).

    It makes sense for company to have their own solar panel of course, as soon as the well-known grid parity is reached.

    However, and you probably by now have well understood my always negative mind so won’t be surprised I do manage to find something negative in that perspective, this also means that the contribution base for paying the EEG tax will be reduced by so much, which may end up with each of the consumers who have no way to escape it paying more.


    1. I don’t know in detail about the competition between diesel and EV, but I was planning to post something about that anyway, so your comment is one more good reason to do so.

      I just wrote that post, and it got longer than I wanted:

      I quite agree with your other point about surcharges going up with more self generation. I have made it myself before, in some detail, and that post is also cited in the post above:


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