With electricity prices expecting to increase in the year to come, around a third of Germans have started to think about investing in electricity saving devices. More than a fifth of Germans are even ready to make investments into solar power to be independent from the upward spiral of electricity prices in the power market. Almost every tenth person, according to the study, has already taken precautionary measures against the price increases.
The inevitable question that has come up is why the electricity prices are increasing in the first place. A lot of negative debate has been going around the German Energy Act or the EEG and the increase in green electricity support allocation. Due to the heated discussion around the investment into solar power for example, consumers have become increasingly uncertain. And the fact that the EEG has been constantly cited as the main reason for the electricity price increase has not helped the cause for solar power either.
According to Claudia Kemfert, Department Head for Energy, Transportation and Envrionment at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the EEG has only marginally contributed to the increasing cost of energy. The hiking oil and gas prices are responsible for a larger part of the price development.
Autarky after ten years
The survey showed that solar power, especially the beginning investment in a solar system, is becoming accepted by more and more people. This trend is supported by the falling solar system prices. The purchase cost of a high quality 4 kWp capacity solar system for a four-family household has fallen 65% since 2006 and comes up to about 7,000. With 20% self consumption of generated power, a system of this size still enables a yearly return of almost 600 through the feed-in tariff compensation. In around ten years, the system, without any huge expenditures, pays itself off.
"We welcome the fact that solar energy has found its place among more and more people and the responsibility towards our resources is increasing," says Michael Harre, Vice President of the EU Solar Business Group at LG Electronics Germany, commenting on the study. He adds that interested people can take advantage of the feed-in tariffs provided for solar energy.
What is important is that one has to keep in mind that technical developments and upgrades like energy storage possibilities and intelligent grids have not been taken into account yet.