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Climate protection in Bonn: City of Bonn wants rooftop solar mandate

Climate protection in Bonn : City of Bonn wants rooftop solar mandate

The city wants to push the expansion of photovoltaic systems on Bonn roofs with a requirement to install solar panels. So far, the city has installed 60 such systems on municipal properties.

If the city of Bonn has its way, 53 percent of Bonn's electricity needs could be covered by renewable energy in a few years, thus reducing CO2 to a considerable extent. So far, the proportion of energy generated by photovoltaic (PV) systems is only 2.1 percent, according to Mayor Katja Dörner (Greens). The city of Bonn wants to push the expansion of renewable energies and not only with the construction of photovoltaic systems on existing roofs. As a further step towards achieving the goal of becoming a climate-neutral city by 2035, Dörner is now proposing to the city council that it adopt a solar mandate for all new buildings at its next meeting.

Requirement for new buildings

The installation of PV systems is to become mandatory for all new construction projects that the city can directly influence under planning law, Dörner explained on Friday at a press conference with city building officer Helmut Wiesner and Achim Helbig from the climate protection control center. This requirement is to apply to all new and current projects. "Only a few cities have gone this route so far; in NRW, Bonn is the first city to adopt such a solar requirement," Dörner said.

She had wished that there had already long been a federal directive on this, but the city did not want to wait any longer. She also realizes that much of Bonn is already built-up. Because of that, the city is also counting on many existing roofs being equipped with PV systems in the near future, and as an incentive, the city wants to implement a subsidy program. It is to come into effect with the upcoming approval of the two-year budget by the district government, Dörner said.

According to the city's solar roof registry, PV systems could be installed on a good two-thirds of all roofs in Bonn. The funding level is based on the amount of energy produced. Photovoltaic systems with an output of up to ten kilowatts are subsidized with 200 euros per kilowatt peak, each additional kilowatt peak with 150 euros. The subsidy is limited to a system size of 30 kilowatt-peak. The complete subsidy guidelines can be viewed online: Förderprogramme fürs Klima

City has 60 PV systems

The city has installed around 60 PV systems on its own properties so far. These include schools and daycare centers as well as the WCCB. More buildings are to follow and are also to be combined with green roofs. Asked whether a PV system could also be envisioned on the Beethovenhalle, city building official Wiesner replied, "That's not possible due to historical preservation reasons." He pointed out that PV systems had already been required on new buildings since January 1 of this year any time that municipal land was sold. "The solar requirement is only waived if it can be shown that an on-site PV system is not economically viable." The bottom line is that the solar requirement is "an important contribution to climate protection," Wiesner said. And he expects the solar power mandate to make a big impact in that regard.

"Since the overwhelming majority of land-use proposals in the city of Bonn are developed as project-related plans with investors and the developments are also covered by the solar mandate, the solar mandate will attain a wide reach in implementation." Since 1997, with the help of urban development contracts, the city of Bonn has been demanding increased energy efficiency standards of buildings beyond the federal legal requirements.

(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen; Translation: ck)