One year after Dieter Ortmann, CEO and founder of the German maxx-solar & energie, started planning the project, the first pilot system was commissioned. Another half a year later, students now benefit from the system and maxx-solar energy and GreenFin have launched a financing tool to make PV renting available to the masses.
PV renting is a great concept to purchase photovoltaic systems without a big initial investment. Practical implementation has been extremely successful in South Africa. Here is a summary of the achievements of the last one and a half years and a review of the positive impacts of the project.
The first milestone was achieved in March this year, when the first 20kWp pilot project was installed and commissioned at the Dominican Grimley School in Hout Bay. During the inauguration ceremony in April, the PV renting approach was presented to a wide audience. On 10 November 2016, the greenfin-maxx PV renting financing tool was launched. The greenfin-maxx PV renting tool enables home owners and enterprises to benefit from cheap solar electricity without any investment costs and to save money every month, as PV electricity is cheaper than the electricity from the grid.
Thanks to the dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme, maxx-solar energy PTY Ltd. was able to install a PV renting pilot project at the Grimley School in Hout Bay. The maxx I solar energy PTY Ltd. is convinced that education is the only way to promote a sustainable use of solar power in our country. Thus, we run the training academy maxx I solar academy for installers and engineers, but we also target the public. “Installing our first PV renting project at a school is especially interesting for us, as this gives us the chance to show the children what solar energy is and how they can benefit from it”, says Antje Klauss-Vorreiter, head of the maxx I solar academy. To increase awareness among the students, Vivian Bluemel from the maxx I solar academy organized an energy day in cooperation with the science teachers at the school on 13 October. Twenty students with hearing impairments from grade seven to nine used mini-solar cells from the maxx I solar academy experimental kits to find out how photovoltaic energy production works. In three groups, the children connected the small cells just like real PV systems are connected and had a lot of fun testing out different lighting conditions and their influence on power production. All students showed great interest in the technology and were very excited to learn more about the solar power system of the schools.
Vivian explained students the components and functionality of the 20 kWp solar power system of the school. The students asked many questions and even wanted to know how their school could finance such a big investment. Vivian explained them that the school leases the system just as their parents lease a car. The whole group understood that using the PV renting concept saves the school money.
The energy day was a great success and the school now plans to organize energy days frequently in order to familiarize all students with renewable energy technology. Sister Francis Krige, head of the school, said “The school could have never afforded to buy a PV system. We are grateful that Patrick Baldamus from SolarpowerPB introduced us to maxx and that both made it possible for us to use clean solar electricity now and to include this theme now in our education.”
The dena RES Project South Africa is part of the worldwide dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme coordinated by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the German Energy Solutions Initiative.
Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena)
The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is Germany's centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. dena's aim is to ensure that energy is used in both a national and international context as efficiently, safely and economically as possible with the least possible impact on climate. dena is working with stakeholders from the worlds of politics and business and from society at large to achieve this aim. Shareholders in dena are the Federal Republic of Germany, KfW Bankengruppe, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG. www.dena.de/en.
German Energy Solutions Initiative
The transfer of energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative, which is coordinated and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The initiative offers networking and business opportunities in Germany and abroad, it showcases reference projects and facilitates capacity building. www.german-energy-solutions.de/en
dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme (dena RES Programme)
The dena RES Programme was developed by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency. This programme, co-financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the German Energy Solutions Initiative, supports renewable energy companies entering new markets. Within the framework of the programme reference and demonstration projects are installed nearby designated institutions in different countries around the world. The installation is accompanied by comprehensive marketing and training programmes. These projects impressively present high-quality renewable energy technology. www.german-energy-solutions.de/en/res