Tomasz Baranski-Valta and his wife have transformed their tenant garden on Jonas-Cohn-Straße into an truly natural garden. There are food, hiding and wintering facilities for wild bees, hedgehogs and other animals. All as a contribution against species extinction, as Tomasz Baranski-Valta says. But something, what particularly catches the eye in the middle of the meadow: a solar module, about one by two meters in size, in the middle of the meadow.
“We like renewable energies, and we are interested in solar systems for some time,” says Tomasz Baranski-Valta. “When this topic came up in KommWohnen’s tenant forum on Facebook this year, we started to work on it very intensively.”
The construcion is easy, then comes the bureaucracy
And the result has been in the garden since September. It is a 300-watt module that the couple ordered it as a package on the Internet, complete with inverters, cables and brackets for installation. That’s what it takes for the ideal position to the sun. “Of course, the south-facing is important”, says Tomasz Baranski-Valta, “And that there is no shade.” A few more heavy stone slabs on the construction, so that the module does not move in wind, connect everything, done.
Well, almost. Because in Germany, of course, a little bureaucracy is still necessary. On the one hand, the registration with Stadtwerke Görlitz as a network operator and on the other hand, the registration with the Federal Network Agency. Both are pure formality. Really could reject the whole thing only the landlord. But KommWohnen has been treating such requests very favorably for several months. Applications for solar systems are avaliable from their account manager.
10 bis 15 Prozent Ersparnis
How much money Tomasz Baranski-Valta save with this system, he can’t say yet. 10 to 15 percent of the electricity costs should be, according to official data. In March, as the electricity bill comes, it gets exciting. The couple has adapted the washing machine, dishwasher and oven to make optimal use of the supplied 300 watts.
“But if you’re not at home all day long and don’t have any electrical appliances running, such an investment is probably not worthwhile”, estimates Tomasz Baranski-Valta. The sun is shining during the day. Electricity produced, which he doesn’t pick up right away in his apartment, is almost lost. Because the system does not have a storage system. “Too expensive. Everything that makes sense in terms of capacity costs four digits.” Think twice about this for a plant that already needs seven to nine years to pay for itself – depending on the development of electricity prices. And the feed-in to the public grid is hardly worthwhile either. Currently, prices are less than ten cents per kilowatt hour. For this, the Baranski system has to be running for more than three hours.
After all, the manufacturer gives a 30-year warranty, and the efficiency is expected to drop by only a few percentage points during this period. In addition, the system is maintenance-free, laundry is sufficient due to rain. Is there any recklessness in the use of electricity? “On the contrary. Maybe I’ll install a meter later, so I can better understand how much electricity the system generates when.”
A windmill for the future?
Neighbors have already asked him several times about the solar module. The curiosity is huge. And, of course, the considerations continue. Maybe there’ll be a windmill in the garden soon? Tomasz Baranski-Valta laughs. “They are still too high and too expensive to use in the garden. But yes, I have actually dealt with them.”