Solar gaining momentum in Berlin
Number of installed systems increasing significantly
The use of solar power for energy production is increasingly gaining momentum in Berlin. The number of solar plants for electricity production has increased significantly. At the end of January, some 15,200 photovoltaic systems with a connected load of around 190 megawatt peak (190 MWp) were in operation in the capital. At the end of 2020, this figure was around 150 MWp.
Under the “Solarcity Masterplan”, a quarter of Berlin’s electricity consumption will be covered by solar plants by 2035. There is still some way to go, but the expansion of solar power is advancing significantly. This applies to the installation of systems of all sizes. The total number now includes around 1,900 systems known as balcony power plants – small photovoltaic modules with a maximum output of 600 watts.
Connection requests are increasing rapidly – processing times are decreasing
In 2021 and 2022 in particular, the number of grid connection requests for solar plants increased rapidly at Stromnetz Berlin. For a long time, up to 1,000 applications for the connection of a solar plant had been received each year. This figure rose to around 2,200 in 2021 alone. Last year (2022), Stromnetz Berlin saw a surge in applications. The number of applications for PV systems increased to 4,800 – more than double the figure for the previous year once again.
This rapid increase, which was exacerbated last year by the energy crisis, has also led to significantly longer waiting times for processing applications. The company responded to this situation by increasing staff capacity, improving efficiency and increasing digitalisation throughout the application process. The customer portal for solar plant connection applications went online back in 2021, and the function of the portal was expanded comprehensively again in 2022. This more than halved the average processing time by January 2023, despite massive increases in the number of applications compared to January 2022.
The company is continuously working on further process optimisations with the aim of further reducing processing times in order to meet the further increase in connection requests for solar plants in the coming years.
Since 10 February of this year, balcony power plants subsidised by the State of Berlin generally receive approval or confirmation of registration from Stromnetz Berlin within two working days.