Solar advice: Read the small prints carefully!

12/11/18, 8:25 PM -

Solar power is cheap. But nevertheless, at the beginning of such lucrative self-reliance there is a price that has to be paid: technical components as solar modules, inverters and storage systems and the labour costs for the installation. Be smart and look for high quality – then you will never face nasty surprise!

This solar module (S-Energy) is burnt by a production failure. Who is reliable?

All of that may add up to a few thousand euros, which begs the question how you can secure such an investment against interruptions, faults, damages or wear and tear. Law courts may help to settle disputes, but that cannot make up for the pleasure of an efficiently working solar installation. First rule: Do not let the falling prices tempt you into becoming reckless!

Some prices, some yield

Per kilowatt of PV on the roof of your house, you will currently need to factor in about 1,000 to 1,200 euros (net). A well-planned and installed installation can be expected to produce between 900 and 1,100 kilowatt hours per year per kilowatt of installed solar capacity (for Central and Northern Europe). In Italy, Spain, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey you may harvest up to 1,700 or 1,800 kilowatt hours from each kilowatt solar power installed.

Battery costs decrease, too

Battery storage costs about 8,000 to 1,000 euros (net) per kilowatt hour of usable storage capacity (for stationary lithium storage units in the segment for small-scale domestic use) or 400 to 600 euros (net) for lead batteries. If we take a PV installation of five kilowatts and a lithium battery of four kilowatt hours, that comes to around 11,000 euros. Prices are falling rapidly, especially for storage, where there are lucrative subsidies.

A lot can happen in 20 years

Before you make such an investment, it is important to find out about how to protect it from a legal standpoint. Because the storage unit is supposed to last ten years; the solar generator at least 20. A lot can happen in that time. So the first tip: Do not let the falling prices fool you! Look at any detail, and most of all, read the small print in your contracts! (HS)

Read more:
Storage advice: Be ready for further service!

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