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Old 19.05.2007, 20:53
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Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

Moving on from the earlier thread I started about how to read an electricity bill, have I bitten off more than I can chew with this one?

What kind of bureaucratic nightmare would be in store for me if I wanted to put some solar panels on the south facing roof on the appartement building I live in?

Assuming you can sell excess power back to the grid, what is the premium you are paid in Kanton Zürich?
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Old 21.05.2007, 00:17
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

I've spent some time on the EWZ website and find no indication that they'll buy your energy.

Like I've written in another thread, they can subsidise the installation of solar panels.

Also, they offer "Energie Contracting", a deal in which the EWZ takes financial risks, supports the planning and execution of the project and expects that the energy source will be in operation for a certain number of years. Again I'm not sure if any of the produced energy is meant to leave the building/project. There are very few sample projects with electric solar panels and there's no mention of this.

Sorry to say this but the roof of your appartment is a good opportunity to produce energy (maybe heat instead of electricity) but not a good business opportunity.
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Old 21.05.2007, 10:02
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

You couldn't generate enough power off the panels to make it interesting for the government, hell you'd be lucky to run a space heater for a few hours (plus when the sun goes down, that is when you need the power of the sun for the heater...)
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Old 21.05.2007, 10:22
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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You couldn't generate enough power off the panels to make it interesting for the government, hell you'd be lucky to run a space heater for a few hours (plus when the sun goes down, that is when you need the power of the sun for the heater...)
Then explain why this kind of project is so widespread in Germany. My buddy up there earns a couple of hundred Euro every month from his panels and about half the houses in his valley have panels installed. The government is willing to buy the power at inflated prices simply because it's clean energy.
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Old 21.05.2007, 10:49
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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You couldn't generate enough power off the panels to make it interesting for the government, hell you'd be lucky to run a space heater for a few hours (plus when the sun goes down, that is when you need the power of the sun for the heater...)
I believe that in Germany they pay 4 times the standard rate for home-made electricity.

Obviously this is not economically viable - but is to encourage the use of local green power generation...
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Old 21.05.2007, 11:08
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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Then explain why this kind of project is so widespread in Germany. My buddy up there earns a couple of hundred Euro every month from his panels and about half the houses in his valley have panels installed. The government is willing to buy the power at inflated prices simply because it's clean energy.
Germany doesn't have the same generation infrastructure as Switzerland, hence the larger interest in renewables.
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Old 21.05.2007, 11:16
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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Germany doesn't have the same generation infrastructure as Switzerland, hence the larger interest in renewables.
Well, I assumed there was a reason they don't follow the example of the Germans, and after visiting my friend up there I was wondering why. Care to share more information on why the German model isn't followed here?
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Old 21.05.2007, 11:27
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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Then explain why this kind of project is so widespread in Germany. My buddy up there earns a couple of hundred Euro every month from his panels and about half the houses in his valley have panels installed. The government is willing to buy the power at inflated prices simply because it's clean energy.
Well I am certainly no specialist on this, but look at the price of the panels, put in the installation price, and then look at how you are going to store this "energy".
Payback, in my opion, would take a very long time to get the initial costs back.
Give it a try and when you make your millions, call me up and say "told you so"!
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Old 21.05.2007, 11:29
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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Well, I assumed there was a reason they don't follow the example of the Germans, and after visiting my friend up there I was wondering why. Care to share more information on why the German model isn't followed here?
About 56% of Swiss generation is hydro, nuclear is about 38%. TOtal about 94% of "renewable / non-polluting", if you consider only the CO2 output and exclude radioactive waste. As such, impact of oil / gas / coal prices on price of electricity is reduced; further, "energetical independence" is less of an issue for the moment.
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Old 21.05.2007, 20:13
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

I'm pretty sure there is a way of selling your excess back to the grid, my GF researched it last year. She thinks it was the companies that install the system will set up the contract with the electricity providor for you. However, you would have to invest many thousands in hardware to make enough to get cash back (let alone profit on the investment), most of the time the credit would just offset the power you buy from them during the night and cloudy days.

Lots of farms round here have them but farmers are pretty expert at applying for grants for all sorts of things. Also, a lot of what looks like solar power panels aren't for generating electricity but for heating water. They do at least cut down on your electricity bill and these are not as expensive to install.
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  #11  
Old 07.07.2009, 01:04
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

July 11th 2008:
Swiss Adopt Aggressive Feed Law for Renewable Energy

For rooftop, 75 Rappen per kW for the first 10 kW looks quite good. At admin.ch I couldn't find anything that categorically said "and that means the ordinary person as well as utilities". Nor could I find anything to explain how you would hook up to the grid to feed power in. The nearest I came to was this, referring to March 27th 2007:

Cost-covering remuneration for feed-in to the electricity grid (CRF)


Last edited by BeastOfBodmin; 07.07.2009 at 13:14. Reason: s/March 27th/March 27th 2007/
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Old 07.07.2009, 08:54
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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The government is willing to buy the power at inflated prices simply because it's clean energy.
Is willing to buy as long as it has money to waste on subsidizing "semi-green" solutions (how much does it cost to produce the silicon panels? The real price, not the subsidized one. And the costs of water, energy and burden on the global silicon manufacturing)... Look at the Spain and the eolian micro powerplants - everything was fine while there were money...
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Old 07.07.2009, 13:13
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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Is willing to buy as long as it has money to waste on subsidizing "semi-green" solutions (how much does it cost to produce the silicon panels? The real price, not the subsidized one. And the costs of water, energy and burden on the global silicon manufacturing)... Look at the Spain and the eolian micro powerplants - everything was fine while there were money...
I understand anti-subsidy feelings. I'm not sure that the fossil fuel producers don't get subsidies. Nuclear certainly does, at least in the initial phases. How much is petroleum and diesel subsidised here?

Do you think that the market will decide everything, and in time to allow an orderly transition from fossil fuel derived energy to the almost certainly reduced supply that will replace it?

Or is it the degree of subsidy you object to?
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Old 07.07.2009, 14:15
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

Two years ago I replaced the heating system in our house and got a quote for solar panels for the hot water. It turned out that the extra cost of the panels would take 18 years to recover before any saving would be made.
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Old 07.07.2009, 21:00
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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Two years ago I replaced the heating system in our house and got a quote for solar panels for the hot water. It turned out that the extra cost of the panels would take 18 years to recover before any saving would be made.
In that case, the only reason to invest would be tree-hugging altruism.

May I ask what were the assumptions about your current heating costs?

Oil or electrical?

Constant cost per unit of energy or an assumed steady rate of price increase?

Lifetime of the solar heating panels?
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Old 07.07.2009, 21:32
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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In that case, the only reason to invest would be tree-hugging altruism.

May I ask what were the assumptions about your current heating costs?

Oil or electrical?

Constant cost per unit of energy or an assumed steady rate of price increase?

Lifetime of the solar heating panels?
In answer to your questions the only part I can answer is that we have gas heating.

The actual calculations were carried out for me by a Swiss friend who is a civil engineer but I’m afraid I don’t know what assumptions he made.
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Old 07.07.2009, 23:52
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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In answer to your questions the only part I can answer is that we have gas heating.

The actual calculations were carried out for me by a Swiss friend who is a civil engineer but I’m afraid I don’t know what assumptions he made.
Out of boredom this evening, I decided to look at a couple of scenarios for a time to recoup the cost of solar panels. My inner hippie was disappointed .

I first assumed that your Swiss friend had not factored in price rises of Erdgas over the 18 years. I assumed there were no maintenance costs in your friend's calculations. I also ignored the possibility of energy-saving measures that might become available to reduce Erdgas consumption.

I set up a simple table in a spreadsheet and assumed 2%, 4%, 6% and 8% average growth in the price of Erdgas. That gave me break-even points during the years 16, 14, 13 and 12 respectively.

I then searched admin.ch and found this chart, from which I guesstimated there has been an average 4% price increase over the last 16 years. So if I foolishly assume this trend holds true for ever, the solar heating panels still take 14 years to pay for themselves. Which is a shame.
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Old 08.07.2009, 09:33
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

But there are big subsidies available now (since last year) for installing Solar aren't there? Believe it varies from canton to canton with Luzern being one of the best. Saw some cost estimates with subsides (think there are more than one) and looked like it should make sense to go for it. Need to find where I saw the article.
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Old 08.07.2009, 09:46
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

One of our neighbours is building a new barn and he's having solar (electricity generating) panels fitted to the roof and he will be selling back to the grid. Next time I see I'll ask about the cost.
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Old 08.07.2009, 10:03
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Re: Swiss regulations for installing, say, solar panels and selling back to the grid?

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I understand anti-subsidy feelings. I'm not sure that the fossil fuel producers don't get subsidies. Nuclear certainly does, at least in the initial phases. How much is petroleum and diesel subsidised here?
Depending on the object (power plant or house heating) the policy for subsidising differs and I'm pretty sure that for the power plants there are some subsidies.

Quote:
Do you think that the market will decide everything, and in time to allow an orderly transition from fossil fuel derived energy to the almost certainly reduced supply that will replace it?
I'm not sure whether market will decide everything. However I'm against rash decisions in the name of 'saving the planet':
- wonderful idea of bio-fuels? It turned somewhat different than expected.
- replacing classic lightbulbs with compact ones
- closing nuclear power plants
- etc
They usually have one of the following goals:
- provide profit for a certain group of people/companies, who can afford the lobbing
- short-term political goals - "Yes, we are saving the planet and doing it for you (and your children)"


Additionally it seems quite likely (for me) that much of the 'green' actions are producing yet another bubble (like internet/subprime) with just one goal - to earn money. In the end it will be the middle class who will pay
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