Greenbuddies tips – June 2020

Electromobility in Germany

Germany without doubt has the largest e-mobility market potential in continental Europe. Therefore, it is of extreme interest to look at the current status and the plans of the German government to support the expected growth of electric vehicles in the coming decade.
As per Federal Government plans, a total of one million charging stations are to be available by 2030. The German government will promote the development of a network of public charging stations by 2025, and produce a master plan for the charging station infrastructure. It will make it mandatory for all petrol stations in Germany to provide charging stations. And more charging stations are to be installed on customer parking lots. Most charging will, however, take place at home or at the workplace. To this end, new legal provisions regarding the installation of charging infrastructure are being adopted to make landlords tolerate the installation of charging infrastructure on their properties.

Encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles

The premium scheme for people buying electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles is to be continued and extended to cover the purchase of vehicles costing less than 40,000 euros. The aim of the German government is to have between 7 and 10 million electric vehicles registered in Germany by 2030. First-time-registrations and retrofitted electric vehicles will initially pay no vehicle tax. This regulation is to be extended until 31 December 2025. Tax breaks for electric company vehicles are also to remain in place, with particularly attractive conditions for purely electric vehicles (up to a purchase price of 40,000 euros).
A premium scheme for the purchase of utility vehicles using alternative engine technology is planned to be introduced as of this year.

Consistent CO2-based reform of vehicle tax

The German government will gear vehicle tax more closely to the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and to this end produce a bill to reform vehicle tax for passenger cars. For vehicles registered for the first time as of 1 January 2021 tax will be calculated primarily on the basis of CO2 emissions per kilometre, and gradually increased above the level of 95 gCO2/km.
After the energy sector and industry the transport sector is the third largest producer of CO2 emissions, accounting for almost 19 per cent of the total. The vast majority of emissions in this sector come from road traffic. Private cars with internal combustion engines are responsible for just under 61 per cent of this. Since 1990 transport-related CO2 emissions have not decreased. Although vehicle technology has become more energy efficient, there are far more vehicles on the road than there were 30 years ago – 71 per cent more heavy goods traffic and 31 per cent more private cars. In Germany some 45 million private cars are registered. If the country is to achieve projected climate targets, more vehicles will have to become more efficient, and more climate-friendly.

A key question: will the power grid withstand the e-car boom?

Cars in Germany drive an average of 13,800 kilometers a year – a total of 621 billion kilometers.
Based on the amount of energy that an average electric car needs today under real conditions, it is easy to calculate how much electricity fully e-mobile Germans would consume: 105 terawatt hours (TWh), around 15 percent of the amount of electricity produced today.
No piece of cake, certainly; but with this additional need, the power supply would certainly not collapse. Almost half of the energy required is already being generated today. It’s just not needed at home. Germany sold 48 TWh of electricity abroad.
The country also has additional reserves, for example in the form of gas power plants. They are hardly used at the moment because green electricity has priority when feeding them into the grid, but they can be reactivated at any time. Contrary to many concerns, electricity would therefore be sufficiently available. The only question is: how much is it worth to drivers – and does it get exactly where it is needed at the right time? With the likes of charging electric cars on street lights overnight and similar technologies is hopefully the answer positive.
Without a question there are still many challenges to overcome on this long and winding road to mature e-mobile Germany. However, the pragmatic approach and proverbial commitment to carbon-free transport of tomorrow exhibited by the Federal Government on many occassions makes us believe that the biggest European economy will eventually succeed despite its somewhat slow start…

Ground-mounted or rooftop installation. Why is the price not the same?

Today we will look closer at an interesting topic: what is the difference between pricing rooftop installation and a ground-mounted power plant? And what are the differences between various kinds of rooftops?
The ground-mounted installations were already described in the last newsletter. Recently, it is harder and harder to find a suitable land for building photovoltaic installation. The solution may be the rooftop installation. In compare to building a photovoltaic on a agriculture field it’s better from the enviromental point of view and be practical – its a free space, which can be used for generating elektricity and have usually already prepared some infrastructure. Lets have a look on its the pricing!
When speaking about photovoltaic roof installation, first we need to think of the safety of our workers. And so our first questions before starting pricing are following: How will the workers’ safety be secured? How will the access to the roof be solved? Is there enough space around the building for lifting the materials to the roof? Only after answering these questions can we move to finding out the rest of the technical details. The most important fact is whether the roof is flat or sloping? And from which kind of material is the roof cover made? That pretty much defines the type of substructure which will be installed. Using some sophisticated subconstruction for a flat roof, or using the hanger bolts is approximately twice as time-consuming as using the minirails system on simply trapezoidal roof cover.
Rooftop installation is also more demanding in comparison to ground installation in other technical aspects. For example in the case of roofs, no cable under the modules can touch the roof (when it is raining, the cable would be in touch with water). The modules need to be connected to the invertors, which are usually at the bottom of the building. It means that the cables are laid in cabletrays for tens of meters between the roof and the invertor room. They must often be protected through fire insulation equipment.
Frankly speaking about rooftop installation prices, they are in generall higher than ground installation. The main reasons are: Safety of workers, more demanding technical requirements, harder distribution of material on roof itself.

Presenting a new members of GB team

Greenbuddies is growing and learning organisation. We need more and more skilled people to deliver excellence to our clients. We are proud that within a few previous months our team increased by 3 valuable members:

Liběna (Líba) – the Purchasing manager

Greenbuddies: Tell me how you first got involved with Greenbuddies.
Líba: When I do my work I always want to know that what I’m doing has a meaning. I have always been interested in alternative energy sources and mostly in renewable energy and a healthy approach to nature. When I found out that the company Greenbuddies was looking for a new employee in the sales department I didn’t think twice before calling in. After my first interview I was praying I would get selected.
Greenbuddies: What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about Renewables/Solar industry?
Líba: I like the Dutch way: they are building FVE’s on roofs, parking spaces and greenhouses. The idea of building FVE’s on water by using bifacial solar panels is also interesting. Personally I would like to have solar panels on my roof.
Greenbuddies: If you wasn’t in Greenbuddies, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
Líba: If I wasn’t a part of Greenbuddies, I would like to be a part of Greenbuddies. ?
Greenbuddies: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Líba: I like to paint, I play the clarinet and the saxophone.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Líba: I ride motorcycles and I’m building my own “Cafe Racer”. ?

Denisa – sales & marketing administration

Greenbuddies: What’s the best/worst thing to happen since you started working with?
Denisa: When I started working with Greenbuddies, COVID was spreading across the whole world and I found myself working from home for 5 weeks. I don’t know exactly if that’s the best or the worst thing. But I was in touch with our team every day and we managed to make it through. Thank God for the internet! ?
Greenbuddies: When your friends/family found out that you work in the Solar industry/Renewables, what did they say or ask?
Denisa: My family enthusiastically asked me: „Wow! We would like some solar panels on the roof of our house. Would you arrange it for us including the subsidy?“ 😀
Greenbuddies: How would (someone) describe you?
Denisa: Someone said: „Exact the best teams are comprised of a specialist and multipotencialist worked together. The specialist can dive in deep and implement ideas, but the multipotentialist brings a breath of knowledge to the project. It is a beautiful partnership.“ I´m so glad for our Greenbuddies team where I can be good support for the best specialists.
Greenbuddies: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Denisa: I’m a songwriter and I have played the guitar for 12 years.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Denisa: I walk my dog Sara – she is a German Shepherd from a shelter. And during weekends I spend my time with my husband at our cottage by the Vltava river.

Dan – sales support ( “guilty” for offer calculations)

Greenbuddies: Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Greenbuddies?
Dan: My dad who knew Aleš Spáčil and Aleš Damm from work. Actually, he was the one who put us together.
Greenbuddies: What surprised you the most about working with Greenbuddies?
Dan: When I first came in I was surprised there was no company hierarchy I was used to from my previous jobs. No manager offices. Actually, everybody was sitting together in an open space.
Greenbuddies: If you could change one thing about the Solar Industry, what would it be?
Dan: I would be glad if Czech society became more aware of the progress in the photovoltaics field and got rid of the negative approach which is primarily driven by the unfortunate subsidy program from some 10 years ago.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Dan: Riding my bike. ?
Greenbuddies: What would you tell someone who is thinking about building a PV plant?
Dan: Ask Greenbuddies to do the job, of course. ?