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Über den Verein Sonne in der Schule Solardach Messe München Förderprojekte Impressum
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PV plant at the Munich Trade Fair Centre
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Organization, background, structure, goals

In November 1997, what was at the time the world’s largest photovoltaic rooftop system was put into operation at the Munich Trade Fair Centre. With a peak output of 1,016 kilowatts, the Messe München solar roof supplies the power grid with 1 million kilowatt hours annually. At that time, a photovoltaic system with an installed capacity of 1 megawatt (MW) was still something unusual. The system thus received an appropriate amount of attention by professional circles and the public. But the main initiators of the solar roof – energy supplier Bayernwerk together with Siemens – went a step further in the development of renewable energy: They wanted the electricity revenues from the system to be used to promote such energy. Therefore, they transferred their shares in the plant to an association that was set up just for this reason: the Bavarian Association for the Promotion of Solar Energy, in german: Solarenergieförderverein Bayern – SeV. The remaining shares are owned by the Munich municipal utilities company.

The initial meeting of the society took place on September 30, 1997; here, it was established that its primary purpose would be the promotion of solar and other renewable energies. Due to its share of 85.8 percent of the solar roof, the association profits for 20 years from electricity revenues – operating and other investment costs are deducted by the operating company of the plant.

With this money, the association provides a remarkable contribution to the further development and market introduction of renewable energy. More than €4 million have been spent for this purpose and more than 200 projects have been sponsored. The range of funded projects extends from brochures, studies and workshops to responding to inquiries from the press and the public, lectures and participation in trade fairs to educational activities, the support of innovative ideas and advice to consumers. As a result of all its activities, the SeV was able to create a good reputation for itself, not only among professionals, but also with the interested public. And there is also an extensive list of interesting projects for the future.

The association’s organs are the General Assembly and the Board. The Board consists of a chairman and a deputy. A treasurer takes care of financial matters.


Goals of the Bavarian Association for the Promotion of Solar Energy

In many areas, renewable energy still requires support. The Bavarian Association for the Promotion of Solar Energy supports the further proliferation and development of solar energy-based technologies in the interest of environmental protection and a sustainable future. The focus of SeV is supporting the use of solar energy.

The SeV wants to ...
• contribute to the market launch of renewable energies with technical papers and projects
• support the subject of renewable energies in the educational sector
• provide stimulation for the broader use of renewable energies
• inform the public about the opportunities and possibilities of renewable energies
• answer questions from the public

As a result, the Bavarian Association for the Promotion of Solar Energy supports
• the promotion of selected innovative projects in the renewable energy sector (photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, biogas) by providing financial grants and technical assistance
• the creation and funding of studies on aspects of renewable energy that are looking for innovative solutions and that promote development
• the publication of information brochures that present complex issues in such a manner that consumers can understand them, thus contributing to the proliferation of renewable energy
• the organization of workshops and activities to provide information and training in specialized areas
• technical papers at national and international conferences


Support philosophy

• Only in justified special cases does SeV support the construction of facilities that receive feed-in tariffs on the basis of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). The exceptions are solar energy systems with, for example, CIS technology, the integration of solar energy systems into building casings or installations without a grid connection, i.e. without EEG compensation.
• SeV provides information about the use of solar and other renewable energy sources and supports their implementation and the necessary knowledge transfer. Examples include “Sun at School”, SeV workshops, lectures and brochures.
• SeV supports and promotes projects and studies for the further development of technologies, such as the issue of building-integrated solar technology and quality assurance.
• SeV awards grants on the basis of competitions in support of the issue of renewable energies.


14 years of successful projects

Due to its active work and thanks to its many projects, SeV has been able to achieve a good reputation both in professional circles and among the general public.

In light of the facts that the feed-in tariff was still less than 10 eurocents/kWh for the energy supplied by the Messe München solar roof PV system and that the association activities were just beginning, only the promotion of a few small projects was possible in the first two years. With the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, EEG) on April 1, 2000, the association’s activities received a major boost: since then, the kWh fed into the grid have been compensated with just under 50 eurocents; as a result, the association has an annual average of about €250,000 available for its work.

At regular meetings, the Board collects information on the progress of the projects, discusses project proposals and decides on new projects such as brochures, workshops, studies and competitions. The day-to-day cooperation with the board and the office by phone and email is very close and sometimes time-consuming.

With the sharp increase in the budget starting in 2000, SeV extended its activities to the following topics:

Education, with the main project “Sun at School”
Workshops on, for example, “Photovoltaics – Architecture and Technology”
Competitions on, for example, building-integrated solar technology and “Sun at School”
Information, with brochures and information booths at e.g. trade fairs
Research, particularly studies of degradation or the low-light performance of PV modules
Investment grants for innovative PV and biogas projects
Studies about, for example, the feeding of biogas into the natural gas network.

The topics have been expanded beyond photovoltaics, such as to solar thermal energy, biogas and heat pumps.

The projects are based both on SeV’s own initiative – such as brochures, competitions and workshops – and on project proposals from outside. The proposals are examined in detail, such as how they can aid the market launch of renewable energy, among other things. The funding approval is subject to the condition that the results shall be made available to the public.


Sun at School

The “Sun at School” project, initiated and sponsored by Bayernwerk, combines innovative technology with an innovative idea, taking an important step in expanding the use of photovoltaics.

Students and teachers throughout Bavaria were confronted directly with the topic of photovoltaics. For many young people, “Sun at School” was their first opportunity to deal intensively with the issue of energy.

Between 1994 and 1997, 544 schools received a highly subsidized PV construction kit with a capacity of about 1 kilowatt (kW). The capacity of all systems combined is 610 kW. With the help of regional and local energy suppliers, teachers and students cooperated in putting together and maintaining the facility, as well as writing an annual report on the operation of the plant.

As a result of “SONNEonline”, the school support program of the former Preussenelektra utility, 450 schools in Northern Germany received the opportunity to build and operate their own solar energy system with an output of 1 kilowatt on their premises, and to evaluate the performance data. During the project (until Dec. 31, 2001), all plants were interconnected by a comprehensive scientific monitoring program coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg. Measured data and operational experience were exchanged over the Internet. In addition, the educational project was constantly supervised by an advisory board and the educational officer of the participating utilities.

Due to the merger of Preussenelektra and Bayernwerk, the two “SONNEonline” and “Sun at School” programs were united in a “Sun at School” program. Thus, nearly 1,000 schools were combined in the “Sun at School” program.

SeV is now in charge of the 16th year of the project. It helps with problems and inverter defects, and evaluates the annual operating data of the PV systems. More than 20 years of operating experience with hundreds of comparable PV systems whose collected operational data SeV has access to result in important lessons for the photovoltaic industry.


Traveling exhibition about building-integrated solar technology

The exhibition shows examples of how suitable design implementations were found for the use of solar technology. The examples come from SeV competitions. The documented projects span 10 years solar energy use in buildings and provide an insight into architectural developments and technical possibilities of solar construction.

SeV hopes that this encourages the planning and designing of excellent building-integrated solar power systems, and thus showcases exemplary solutions in qualitatively sophisticated architecture.

The traveling exhibition can be leased from SeV at no cost. Delivery, setup/dismantling and collection can be agreed upon individually. Accompanying brochures are also available free of charge.

Three variations are possible:
Variation 1 – leasing of roll-up displays
Variation 2 – you receive a PDF that you can print yourself
Variation 3 – we send you a set of posters in DIN A0 format