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Solar Power in municipalities: Munich Wants 100% Green Electricity

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Munich, the capital city of Bavaria, is not just the venue for Intersolar Europe, it also contributes significantly to promoting renewable energies.

Based on an initiative from Munich’s red-green coalition, the following ambitious goals have been set: By 2015, the city’s energy supplier, Munich City Utilities (Stadtwerke München, SWM), is to produce enough green electricity at its own facilities to supply all 800,000 Munich households. By 2025, Munich City Utilities wants to meet the city’s entire power requirements with environmentally friendly electricity. This would make Munich the first German city to boast an entirely green electricity supply. In their “Expansion Offensive”, Munich City Utilities is banking on a broad spectrum of renewable energies. This offensive includes a geothermal power plant in the south of Munich, hydropower plants in the city and surrounding region and a photovoltaic power plant in southern Germany. Most of the green electricity will be generated by offshore wind farms and a parabolic trough power plant in Andalusia, Spain.

Using local potential

In recent years, Munich City Utilities and the City of Munich have set up a legally independent company, Solarinitiative München GmbH & Co. KG (Solar Initiative Munich), which informs citizens and businesses about constructing solar power installations and provides property owners with an individually tailored proposal to encourages them to put their roofs forward for the initiative. However, complicated ownership structures – e.g. in apartment buildings – often prevent the go ahead for a solar installation and further costs are incurred for buildings under heritage protection. The Solar Initiative Munich aims at eliminating these obstacles as much as possible. A feasibility study revealed that the initiative could potentially lead to 300 megawatts of power being generated in the city. Currently, solar power installations in Munich have a total output of 21 megawatts.

Using solar power in municipalities links in with the Intersolar Europe Conference seminar topic: “Solar power in the city treasury – municipalities as the operators of solar power systems”. The seminar aims at providing basic knowledge to better evaluate a municipality’s situation regarding their use of PV systems. The seminar will also examine whether operating a solar power system can still be profitable from July 1, 2011 when the conditions laid out in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) are set to change. For further information on the seminar, please click here.

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