Renewable energies are a big topic, especially for property owners. Because they can use renewable energies to reduce their own energy costs and at the same time contribute to climate protection. But what all needs to be considered and where is the best place to start?
Power and heat generation from renewable energies – almost unlimited availability
Regenerative, renewable or alternative energies live up to their many names in any case. Because their best feature is that they are virtually infinitely available or renew themselves in a relatively short time. Thus, they are far ahead of their competitors such as oil, natural gas or coal. Renewable energies are therefore the future and the way to counter the currently still prevailing fossil energies or nuclear energy. The alternative energies offer a great alternative and are green as a further plus point, so do not harm our environment.
- Keyfact 1 – renewable energies, such as solar or wind energy, offer a major contribution to climate protection, but require a relatively high initial investment for the installation of the system.
- Keyfact 2 – the conversion or installation of renewable energy systems is subsidised by the state and can be easily financed thanks to favourable interest rates.
Renewable energy – what are the different forms?
There are various options available to property owners for generating electricity and heat using renewable energies. Probably the best known is the generation of energy through solar energy. Here, a distinction is made between photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. Photovoltaics is used to convert sunlight into electricity, while solar thermal energy is used to convert solar energy into heat. Learn more about harnessing energy from sunlight here: ‘Solar Energy for Property Owners’. Another way to generate energy is with the help of wind power. A wind turbine uses the lift of the wind to generate energy from it.
A rather unknown method is the generation of energy from biomass. This occurs in the form of wood, energy crops, but also residual materials such as organic waste, liquid manure or straw. Stored solar energy is also converted into heat, electricity or fuel in biomass plants. What most people do not know is that this type of renewable energy also includes pellet heating. The last form of alternative energy is the heat pump. This transports heat from the ground and thus generates electricity. But hot water can also be supplied by a heat pump. So today there are already many forms that are still relatively unknown and could provide the future of energy production.
Building owners – renewable energies for heat generation are mandatory
The Renewable Energies Heat Act (EEWärmeG) applies to builders of new buildings. This states that a proportionate use of renewable energies for heat generation is mandatory. Even though these must be used, renewable energies also have many advantages for building owners. The use of alternative energies makes builders independent of rising energy costs and large energy companies. However, some decisions should be well thought out in advance. Since renewable energies are partly not always constantly available, different energy sources should be considered to complement the renewable energies. In addition, it should be noted that renewable energy must be used for heat generation and that it therefore makes sense to use renewable energy to generate electricity. All these points are to be seen of course also from the financial point of view and there are some things to consider. Depending on which regenerative energy the property owner decides to use, there are several technical systems that need to be invested in.
Promotion for regenerative energies – State promotes real estate owners
The conversion of a property to renewable energies can be financed in various ways. All conversions that exceed the amount of € 50,000 can be financed with a building loan. Different providers have different conditions at which the construction loan can be taken out. If the amount is less than € 50,000, the project can be financed by the property owner through an installment loan.
However, the state also supports property owners who want to convert to renewable energies with various funding programmes. The federal development bank, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) supports individuals and companies by offering these favorable interest rates for a KfW loan. Divided into different funding programs, property owners or even builders can thus use favorable financing for the construction of renewable energy. The renewable energy law provides however likewise a guaranteed feed-in tariff, as long as river from regenerativ energies of real estate owners into the public electricity net are fed. This creates a small source of additional income for property owners. Here however caution is in demand! Because a tax trap for private individuals is quickly hidden here. Learn more about this topic in our article about solar energy!
Advantages and disadvantages – renewable energy sources at a glance
Building a home with renewable energy, or even converting the property to use renewable energy, has a number of benefits for owners:
- You protect the environment and a contribution is made to climate protection
- They are independent of rising energy costs and do not support the big energy companies.
- Financing is made easy for you thanks to funding from KfW
- The feed-in tariff could become a monthly extra income for you
Of course, each side also has its disadvantages, which is why property owners and builders should think carefully before opting for renewable energies – after all, both sides must always be considered:
- The investment for the installation of the technical equipment is incurred and is not necessarily favorable
- The output of renewable energies can be subject to fluctuations
- Some renewable energy installations can mean cuts in the natural environment
- Availability can sometimes be limited
Renewable Energies in Germany – Energy Turnaround and its Goals
The switch to renewable energies has been underway in Germany for several years under the term “energy transition”. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which has existed since 2000, regulates the promotion of green electricity in Germany. This law has brought about a major change, especially in the field of electricity generation. As a result, the share of renewable energy in gross consumption has changed from 6 percent in 2000 to 29 percent in 2016. Smaller advances are being made in the automotive sector. Electric cars are a well-known topic, but electric cars that run on electricity from renewable sources are the only option so far and there are no alternatives yet. There is still a lot of work to be done here to make all cars run on renewable energy in the future. In the area of heating there is also only little progress. A large part of the buildings in Germany are still heated with fossil fuels, only for new buildings there are now rules and regulations that require renewable energy.
Germany’s current climate target is to produce 40 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 than in 1990. Whether this goal will be achieved and whether a complete conversion to renewable energies is possible in the future is still written in the stars. All we know for sure is that research into renewable energies will continue and that the EEG requirement is a step in the right direction.