Solar Powers is a non-profit association founded by a study group from an energy seminar at the TU Berlin to advocate for the expansion of solar installations. After a feasibility study of solar energy on the roof of the Central Library, it was clear: the potential is great.
The concept not only convinced those responsible at the TU, but also NATURSTROM AG and the Grüner Strom Label e.V. (Grüner Strom-Label). As part of the green power certification, the independent green power provider contributed 10,000 euros to the total costs of approximately 50,000 euros. The money came from the green electricity tariff awarded with the Grüner Strom-Label. The Grüner Strom-Label guarantees that for every kilowatt hour consumed under a certified green electricity tariff, a fixed amount is invested by the energy provider in nature-friendly Energy transition projects is invested.
Other funding came from module sponsorships, crowdfunding and in-kind donations. The student councils were also able to donate smaller amounts of money that they were able to raise by hosting parties.
In 2017, the solar plant was put into operation and now supplies almost 30 kilowatt peak on 500 square meters. By way of comparison, this is enough to supply eleven two-person households with solar power in a year. All the electricity generated by the PV system is purchased by the TU Berlin. Part of the income is distributed for practical educational projects in the field of climate protection. The founders of the association Andrea Ruiz and Nils Becker talk about what it took to be able to offer the photovoltaic and solar energy courses and what makes them so special. They also outline their vision for the role of community institutions in a successful energy transition and take stock of public opinion and the feasibility of generating their own energy between the founding of the association in 2014 and today.
Listen now to the whole interview in the current episode 'Current Up'