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The KEM-Carnuntum balcony power plant campaign

Even small steps can make a big difference – the KEM-Carnuntum balcony power plant campaign

The rapid rise in energy prices triggered a veritable photovoltaic boom throughout Austria. For many people, however, it is not possible to invest in a PV system due to a lack of financial resources or a lack of or unsuitable roof space.

Small-scale PV power plants, also known as balcony power plants, offer a possible alternative. Balcony power plants are PV systems with Mirko inverters with a maximum output of 800 watts. Thanks to the ease of installation and the possibility of feeding the energy generated directly into the socket, balcony power plants are a cost-effective alternative for covering at least part of electricity consumption with renewable energy.

In the course of the KEM event “Day of the Sun” on 16.9.2023, there was an intensive advisory service for classic PV systems. The company “Solarkraftzwerg”, a regional company that specializes in small-scale PV generation systems, was on hand to explain the technology and how it works.

Establishment of municipal funding for balcony power plants

Due to the previous funding options under the EAG, small PV systems were not eligible for funding. In order to further reduce the financial hurdles, the two municipalities of Scharndorf and Hundsheim decided to provide funding for private households from the municipality. For example, the purchase of a system per household is subsidized with 30% of the purchase price with up to max. € 250 is supported. So far, 13 people have taken advantage of this support offer. As a result, around 8 kWp of additional PV power was connected to the grid in the two municipalities. The campaign has created an additional approach for lower-income households to cover part of their electricity consumption with small-scale PV systems. Assuming that the installed output of 8 kWp generates 8,000 kWh sustainably, this could supply around 3 households with solar power.

Particularly pleasing: due to the low purchase costs and the additional subsidies, a balcony power plant can pay for itself after approx. 4 – 5 years.