Small and medium-sized businesses in Germany have long since recognized the potential of solar power. In 2018, solar systems in the 100 to 750 kWp range claimed a 47%* market share – the biggest segment in the German solar market. With over 560 MWp, most of the sales went to PV systems between 600 and 750 kWp. Companies are powerful drivers behind the growth of solar energy in Germany and thus behind the energy turnaround in the country. Considering the extremely low electricity production costs of solar power, however, this market segment still holds a great deal of untapped potential. The goal is therefore to make solar power more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses and eliminate current obstacles. One such obstacle clearly is the regulation stating that surplus power generated by PV systems between 100 and 750 kWp must be marketed directly within the EEG (Renewable Energy Act), i.e. sold to a power company, to a direct client or on the electricity exchange. Compliance can be costly and complicated. In addition to the installer, the company operating the solar system has to find an additional contractor to engage in directly marketing towards the electricity exchange market. This obstacle affects small- to medium-sized businesses in particular, keeping many of them out of the solar power game, despite the competitive advantages offered by low-cost, sustainable electricity.
“Q CELLS positions itself as the solar partner for Germany's business community”
Now, Q CELLS is offering its partners, as well as business customers and communities in Germany, this direct marketing option and thus, a turn-key solutions for sustainably cutting down electric costs through solar power. Q CELLS has long been combining its proven high performance solar modules, based on its proprietary Q.ANTUM technology, with its very own Q.FLAT-G5 flat roof system – both developed in Germany. These individually optimised solar systems allow for significantly reduced energy costs per kWh (LCOE) attributed to a high power yield, as well as long module and mounting system service lives. By adding the option of directly marketing any power that is generated and not used, Q CELLS now offers companies all the components and services they need, making solar power more accessible to the German business community.
“With solar power, companies in Germany can sustainably reduce their energy costs, making them even more competitive,” notes Sven Stoffers, Q CELLS Sales Manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “To do this, they need a partner that can make the switch to solar easier by offering them a top-quality, turn-key solutions from a single source – everything from the module to the system and all the services involved. That's just what Q CELLS is offering in collaboration with our Q.PARTNERs. We want to be known as the solar partner for Germany's business community”.
Direct marketing with Q CELLS
For businesses, Q CELLS direct marketing service is perfectly simple. First, the company uses as much low-cost solar power as possible from their own PV system. Any surplus power they generate, they sell to Q CELLS. They also get to take advantage of the associated market premium paid by the state to commercial operators of PV systems. The necessary hardware for direct marketing is available from Q CELLS or can be selected from a different supplier. Q CELLS then sells the power on the electricity exchange and hands the revenue, minus a service fee, back to the operator of the PV system. The monthly fees for systems between 100 and 750 kWp are fixed rates in the range of 60 to 110 euros, depending on the size of the system, thus providing planning reliability to the customer. All it takes is a contract with Q CELLS, and that can be done in a snap. Q CELLS' direct marketing service is available to any commercial client installing a new PV system, as well as operators of existing systems.
“The advantages of our direct marketing offer are pretty obvious,” remarks Florian Schmidt, Business Development Manager Energy Solutions at Q CELLS. “The customer gets complete transparency with regard to how much profit their PV system brings in. They no longer have to worry about finding a separate contractor to handle the direct marketing side of things. They can use their own hardware or purchase it straight from Q CELLS, and they're off and running in no time. But the biggest advantage to the customer has to be the fact that with
Q CELLS, they get a complete solution from a single source”.
* Source: German Solar Industry Association e.V. (BSW)