The sun shining over Berlin
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Berlin’s city-state parliament has approved a law after months of discussion calling for obligatory installation of solar panels from 2023 on new buildings and on older buildings undergoing major renovation.

Under the new regulations, solar panels are to cover a minimum of 30 % of the square area of any roof with a surface area exceeding 50 square metres.

    The minimum standard for the capacity of roof panels – in 2 KW for dwellings with one or two units, 3 KW for 3-4 units and 6 KW for 6-10 units. Owners of vacant buildings are also obliged to install solar panels.

    Exceptions are made only for historic buildings where installation is impossible and for roofs facing north.

    Owners failing to meet the new requirements will be subject to fines ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 euros ($5,900 to $59,000).

   Implementing the requirements will enable the city-state to reach in the shortest possible time its objective of raising the share of solar power in its energy balance to 25 %.

    Critics say the rules place an excessively expensive burden on the housing sector. A city analysis shows that privately-owned dwellings account for 60 % of roofs where solar panel installations are practical.

    Photovoltaic panels currently account for about 1 % of Berlin’s power consumption.

    In broader terms. Germany intends by 2030 to triple its solar panel capacity to 150 GW from 52 GW at present and to increase its wind installations to 95 GW from 54 GW. Its climate change plan also provides for 2.5 billion euros to be allocated to reconstruction of buildings.

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