How can the new scope for action by EEG and CHP law be used?

The impact of the liberalization of the electricity market has been very diverse. In some areas, the framework for climate protection measures has deteriorated significantly. Thus, for example the cost effectiveness of efficiency measures has deteriorated for as a result of a substantial drop in electricity prices. Whereas in some areas (eg. for the use of photovoltaics or for the use of small co-generation plants up to a power of 50 kW), the investment environment has improved.

Against this background, the Eco-Watt Project (www.eco - watt.de) process was developed. Here, the Wuppertal Institute and office Ö-Quadrat developed the “100 000 Watt Solar Initiative” for schools. The 100,000 watt solar initiative is a project for schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and is part of a state initiative on future energies within NRW. The concept of the project was funded by the state of NRW.

The basic idea of “100,000  Solar Watt Initiative” is that 50 Watts would be generated from solar power and 50 Watts would be saved from improved lighting at select North Rhine-Westphalia schools. This objective applied per pupil accounts for a total of 100 Watts of power relative to conventional energy use. A school with 1,000 students can therefore generate a 100,000-Watt solar power and savings.

The rehabilitation of the Aggertal High School as part of the 100,000  Solar Watt Initiative included a lighting system restoration, a 43 kW solar system, and hydraulic adjustments and refurbishment; the investment for the pumps was obtained from the deposits of the contracting funds which was funded by citizens. The power supply for Aggertal was provided through an investment in a CHP plant with a capacity of 50 kW, which also supplies heat to the school at a price comparable with gas. Cooperation with utilities was obtained as part of this project. Overall, the renovations and additions yielded the following results: the school currently produces significantly more electricity than the facility requires; since the savings from the original power consumption are 120,000 kWh per year, the school only has an annual demand of around 65,000 kWh. The solar system provides about 35,000 kWh per annum and the CHP 230 000 kWh. Thanks to these measures, the school now produces around 70 % less CO2 than before the renovations.

In the summer of 2003, the above project was distinguished by the recognition as a flagship project of the State Initiative on Future Energies in NRW.

The investors (mostly teachers and parents of students) can expect a return on capital in the range of 5 to 6 percent over the life of the project. Meanwhile, additional school projects have been implemented. For more information, visit www.solarundspar.de

The realization of these projects was made possible both by the introduction of the Renewable Energie Act and the other hand by the combined heat and power law. The ecological tax reform bears on higher electricity prices whereas a gas tax exemption for CHP plants offers a better return on capital employed for a selection of energy saving projects.

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