- Vonovia aims to have 30,000 rooftops in Germany equipped with solar panels
- It will mean increasing the annual installed capacity of solar from 2.5 MW now to 25 MW annually by 2024
- Electricity production from these panels will bring ‘long-term benefits’ for tenants with low-cost electricity, said Vonovia
- The City of Bonn has also made it mandatory for all new construction in the city to have PV systems
German residential real estate company Vonovia SE has vowed to get 30,000 roofs in its portfolio to be fitted with solar panels by the year 2050 as part of its climate neutrality aim for all its existing buildings.
According to its plans, the company will increase its annual installation capacity 10-fold by 2024, from around 2.5 MW to 25 MW annually. By 2030, it aims to produce 194 million kWh of solar power with some 17,000 roofs in the country equipped with solar panels. The company owns over 400,000 appartments.
Power generated by the panels will be deployed to generate heat across sectors and provide a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV) and generate electricity for the tenants. To execute these plans, Vonovia will also invest in hiring more staff, as roofers, electricians and project managers.
The German company sees this capacity to cost it €240 million till 2030 and ‘tenants will reap long-term benefits in terms of low-cost electricity’.
Vonovia has already installed 1,000 solar roofs since 2018 with an investment of €16 million, that are currently generating more than 15 million kWh.
“Electricity that is produced on roofs and made available directly to tenants is something that should serve as a role model. It’s a smart way to produce energy,” said Minister of Construction for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ina Scharrenbach.
Rooftop solar mandatory in Bonn
The expansion of Vonovia’s rooftop solar plans come at a time when the city of Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to make it mandatory for all new construction projects to install PV systems. It will also apply to all ongoing projects whose development plan has not been approved as yet.
The City Council of Bonn stated, “When selling urban land, PV systems have to be installed on new buildings since January 1, 2021. The solar obligation only does not apply if an onsite PV system can be proven to be uneconomical.”
The city of Bonn aims to become climate neutral by 2035, and sees solar energy among renewables to offer the greatest potential for reducing CO2. According to the City Council’s estimates, if all suitable roofs in Bonn were to be equipped with a PV system, 53% of Bonn’s electricity demand could be converted by renewable sources, theoretically, something that currently stands at 2.1%.
Other jurisdictions in Germany that have passed legislation for mandatory solar installations on buildings are the city-states Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen as well as the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, the country’s only state ruled by a Green Minister President.