Welcome to the Solarwende ("solar transition") website, an initiative led by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises. With this foreign language page, we hope to provide you with a brief overview of the following topics:
- What is solar energy?
- What progress is Berlin making in the field of solar energy?
- Why is solar energy useful?
- What can you do as the owner of a building?
- Where can you find advice, tradespeople or funding?
Bild: Thomas Rosenthal / SolarZentrum
Solar energy in Berlin – the Solarwende
Berlin has set itself the goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2045. Large-scale use of solar energy will be an important component of this, as it accounts for a significant part of the city’s renewable energy potential – as much as 25 per cent, according to studies! As such, the Solarwende is an important part of the energy transition in Berlin. The Solarcity Berlin master plan was launched in 2020 and sets out 27 measures that need to be taken.
Berlin offers various forms of support for private and commercial building owners. After all, solar energy is primarily generated on the country’s buildings: decentralised, cost-effective and right where it is needed. We will provide information on where you can get advice on solar energy, on support for implementation and on funding opportunities.
Master plan in a nutshell
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Advice and support services in Berlin
- SolarZentrum Berlin offers a general initial consultation, free of charge. They can also refer you to other agencies. It is best to contact SolarZentrum by email.
- You can also contact any tradesperson who installs solar systems. You can find an index of addresses of businesses specialising in this field here. Your architect can also help.
- Alternatively, you can contact a trusted energy advisor or your local chimney sweep to raise any initial questions you may have.
- If you would first like to find out about the potential of your roof for yourself, then you can find an online tool here that will allow you to get started straight away.
- The state of Berlin offers financial support for your solar installation, which makes this technology particularly attractive and cost-effective.
- Almost all aspects not directly related to the purchase of the solar installation itself are covered. As well as consulting and planning services, this can also include purchasing an energy storage unit, for example, so that the system will pay for itself, particularly in terms of personal consumption, and directly reduce your energy bills.
- Investitionsbank Berlin IBB is responsible for this. Please contact them with any questions you may have and to submit your application for funding.
- It is very important to note that, as a general rule, only measures that commence after the funding application has been approved will be funded. So, get in touch as soon as possible!
- Solar systems are generally installed by tradespeople from various sectors (e.g. electricians, roofers, plumbers), however, there are also an increasing number of companies specialising in this field.
- You can use our database of Berlin-based companies for an initial search.
The state of Berlin has set up a Solarcity Master Plan coordinating office, which is intended to serve primarily as a point of contact for professional stakeholders from the fields of business, politics, research and education, and to support the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises in implementing the Solarcity Master Plan. Collaboration with Berlin-based companies within the Solarcity network is particularly important here. Find more information here.
Best Practice: Solarwende beacons in Berlin
Discover what is already happening in Berlin – with our Solarwende beacons.
Berlin will soon be home to Germany’s largest electricity project for tenants, with a solar installation that produces electricity directly for the tenants in the building below, which they can then purchase at low cost. A total of 100 residential buildings will be fitted with 39 solar installations, with a combined size of four football pitches. The residential buildings will thus produce around 3 million kWh of green electricity, which is an impressive amount.
It doesn’t always have to be a roof: solar energy can be installed almost anywhere the sun shines. This is demonstrated, for example, by this complex of multi-storey residential buildings comprising more than 800 flats, where the solar panels were attached to the side of the façade during an energy-focussed refurbishment project. As well as producing electricity, they also make an aesthetic statement – demonstrating that even older buildings can be brought into the future.
Florida Eis is a household name in Berlin. However, many people are unaware that the company fitted a vast quantity of solar panels to its roofs years ago, which is one of the reasons it can now produce its Berlin ice cream in a CO2-neutral, climate-friendly manner.
The system has already paid for itself after around seven years. All energy produced after this period is virtually “free of charge” – an enormous competitive advantage for any company!
More questions and answers
- Solar energy is the production of energy from sunlight. There is a difference here between heat (“solar thermal energy”) and electricity (“photovoltaic energy”, PV), with the latter able to be used with greater flexibility.
- Solar energy does not require large power plants, but rather can be generated locally (on site), on the roof of a family home, and can produce a significant portion of the energy required for the house. This is extremely cost-effective, provides independence now and in the future, and is also good for our environment and long-term prospects.
- The technology, in particular photovoltaic technology, is cost-effective, low maintenance and requires hardly any upkeep. Once installed, it produces energy reliably and on a permanent basis. This also makes it an invaluable investment for private individuals who own a property.
- You should first check whether it is actually possible to install a solar system. For Berlin, you can now do this right away, using this tool. Generally speaking, if the surface (roof or façade) is not north facing and is only slightly shaded during the day (e.g. by trees or roof structures), then there is a fair chance it will work for you!
- If it is, in principle, possible to install a solar system on your roof, you should contact the Solarzentrum Berlin for a free initial consultation or talk to a trusted tradesperson or architect! A solar installation is something very specific, and can vary greatly depending on the building, the roof and your consumption profile. Therefore, it is important to seek professional support.
- In Berlin, a legal requirement to install solar panels on buildings (Solar Act and Climate Protection and Energy Revolution Act (EWG Berlin)) has been in effect since 1 January 2023.
- The requirement applies to new buildings as well as to existing buildings if significant parts of the roof are converted.
- At least 30% of the roof surface must be fitted with a solar system. There are, however, exceptions to this (e.g. listed buildings), or alternative measures (e.g. installation on other surfaces such as the façade). Find more information here!
- There is a great deal of information about solar energy available in your language online. You can also email consultancy organisations such as the SolarZentrum Berlin to ask whether advice can be provided in your language. It’s often possible!
- You can use the Chrome browser, for example, to translate web pages. The Solarwende page that you are currently on has several sub-pages address a wide range of both general and specialised topics relating to solar energy, as well as specific questions about Berlin in German. With the right browser settings, you can achieve reasonable translations.
Koordinierungsstelle Masterplan Solarcity
c/o Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe
You can contact the competent office of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises on the Homepage of the State of Berlin.