Germany’s capital of Berlin has passed the Berlin Solar Act, a new law which will require all new buildings and major renovations to install rooftop solar PV systems that cover at least 30% of the roof area from 2023 onwards.
The Berlin House of Representatives passed the Act on Thursday June 17 as part of the city’s larger effort to become carbon neutral by 2050. Under the larger carbon neutrality goal, Berlin has also set itself a target of ensuring 25% of its electricity supply comes from solar energy as quickly as possible.
Currently, however, solar PV only covers around 0.7% of Berlin’s electricity consumption. In 2018, Berlin’s total solar output was only 106MWp. As such, to reach the goal of 25% solar, that figure has to be increased to around 4,400MWp.
The new Berlin Solar Act is a direct attempt to meet these goals. Starting from January 1, 2023, all new buildings as well as major renovations of roofs with a usable area of more than 50-square metres will be required to have a rooftop solar PV system installed that covers at least 30% of the roof.
Various minimum requirements have also been defined for residential buildings: residential buildings with a maximum of two apartments must have at least 2kW of solar PV on their roofs, 3kW for residential buildings with more than two apartments, and 6kW for six to ten apartments.
The State of Berlin will also support the construction of the newly required solar systems through loans and grants from the Investitionsbank Berlin.
Fines for those who do not follow the new rules are substantial, with one- or two-family houses that do not install rooftop solar systems set to pay up to €5,000, and for multi-family houses/apartment buildings, there is a graded fine system up to €25,000. Non-residential buildings that do not comply will face even heftier fines, up to €50,000.