Munich residents are building more new solar systems than ever before – Munich

The expansion of solar energy in Munich has increased enormously. Last year, more photovoltaic systems were built in the city than ever before. According to figures from the city’s climate department, the newly installed photovoltaic (PV) output on house roofs has almost tripled compared to 2022. For the first time, the green-red town hall alliance not only achieved its own goals, but even exceeded them. Of the 13,000 existing PV systems in Munich, more than a third were installed last year alone.

The city hall calculated that the total output of the systems could cover the annual electricity needs of around 50,000 two-person households. The total solar output is a good 140 megawatt peak (MWp). This unit of measurement indicates the maximum performance of the systems when used optimally.

(Photo: SZ-Grafik/City of Munich)

“This is a huge success,” says Mayor Dominik Krause (Greens), commenting on the current boom. No matter how great the progress is, the city cannot rest on its laurels. The new output added in 2023 is 36 MWp, for this year the town hall has planned to add 40 MWp, and in two years it should be 60 MWp. A look back at the past two decades shows that for a long time there was hardly any progress in the expansion of solar energy. Until 2019, annual expansion was always well below ten MWp; it only increased slightly in 2020. Just over a year ago, the city council largely agreed that this was far too little. They then set out on an ambitious growth path.

The big leap upwards is primarily due to private homeowners. That makes him particularly happy, explains Krause. “The people of Munich are the big drivers of the energy transition.” Apparently many have used the city subsidies from the Climate Neutral Buildings (FKG) funding program. In addition, there is currently a favorable situation on the solar market, says climate consultant Christine Kugler: “PV expansion is currently cheaper than ever, as solar module prices have fallen sharply and waiting times at solar specialist companies have decreased significantly.”

In view of these favorable circumstances, many private individuals want to use self-produced electricity to reduce energy costs, which rose sharply after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. According to the city, 95 percent of the 13,000 PV systems on Munich’s roofs belong to private individuals and they supply 80 percent of the total solar power. According to the climate department, the average performance of these systems shows that they are mainly installed in smaller private houses. Meanwhile, the expansion of commercial buildings is also increasing. There are currently almost 200 systems in schools. A good 1,000 systems are spread across the roofs of companies.

Climate speaker Kugler is trying to keep the solar motivation of the people of Munich high. She advises homeowners to get started now, because in winter the solar companies “have time to make good offers. If you’re smart, act now, because the next price increase on PV is foreseeable.” City funding also falls from year to year, always by six percent in the middle of the year. The city wants to motivate people to build PV systems as quickly as possible.

In the future, the city wants to send more money from the FKG program to the municipal company Münchner Wohnen (formerly Gewofag and GWG). The solar boom should also affect urban houses and benefit the tenants there.

Boom in balcony power plants

The city is experiencing the strongest boom in plug-in solar devices, better known as balcony power plants. They are easily connected to the power grid via a normal socket. A good 1,500 of these systems were connected as early as 2022; the number remained so high last year. That’s almost a third of all new PV systems in 2023. The big advantage is that tenants can also install them. Depending on the type of installation, you may need the landlord’s consent. The city has been subsidizing a balcony power plant, which usually costs several hundred euros, with up to 320 euros since January.

The “Solar 2030” association has set itself the task of supporting Munich residents with the installation of PV systems. Board member Bernd Bötel says that information events are extremely popular, especially about balcony power plants. Depending on the size, these cost 400 to 800 euros, and the price has recently fallen sharply. Thanks to the city subsidy, the investment will pay for itself after about three years. From then on, the operators saved money every year; they expect the systems to have a service life of 20 to 40 years. The association tries to support anyone who needs help installing a private mini-power plant, for example through volunteer neighborhood help.

While installation on the balcony or on the roof of your own house is usually easy, it is often quite complicated in apartment buildings. The association’s own working group therefore provides specific advice on this matter. Information about this is available at

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