Lucrative solar thermal is becoming increasingly popular: is the investment worthwhile?

Even if the current costs for natural gas and heating oil are kept to a minimum, considerable price increases are expected in the medium and long term. As a result, many builders and homeowners will ask the question of whether an alternative energy source is the better choice. Solar thermal energy is becoming increasingly popular: in July 2017, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) registered at least 1,912 applications to promote this technology - which represents the annual record. What should you know about this technique, what are the pitfalls?

How solar thermal works

Solar thermal energy is the transformation of solar energy into heat. Unlike photovoltaic power generation is therefore omitted, making the cost of these systems are significantly lower. In addition, the problem of energy storage does not exist in this way, because in hot water can actually store much heat energy.

Lucrative solar thermal is becoming increasingly popular: is the investment worthwhile?: lucrative

Even simple constructions offer a cheap hot water supply.

Thus, only three components belong to such a system: the solar collectors, a pump and a storage tank with a few 100 liters of water. The pump ensures that the solar panels are flushed with the water and heat it up - a storage temperature of 55° C can be achieved even outside the summer months. As a result, the conventional heating must be used less often, depending on the dimensions of the system can cover 50-60% of the hot water requirements of a one-family household on the solar thermal. It is important, however, a sufficient dimensioning of the plant in advance and the purchase of the expert. A detailed and practical overview of the costs of solar thermal energy offers z. B. Käuffer, specialist in modern heating systems and building technology. On the basis of a useful life of mostly 20 years, it is possible to calculate the cost-effectiveness.

Save almost 1000 euros annually

The reduction of fuel costs in conventional heating is quite a costly investment. Starting from a detached house with a floor space of about 150 m², a flat collector with a size of at least 15 m² should be installed.

Lucrative solar thermal is becoming increasingly popular: is the investment worthwhile?: becoming

The size of the collectors should be about 10% of the living space.

The cost is about 4000 euros; add about 2000 euros for the combination memory and once again the same amount for small parts and assembly. Overall, total costs amount to 8,000 euros.

If one assumes average heating costs for an oil heating of about 1,800 euros per year, the saving is around 900 euros per year. Over the entire life of the solar thermal will undoubtedly pay for itself. It should, however, be taken into account that the price development of fossil fuels is still completely unclear - a significant increase, as already mentioned, is quite likely in a few years. In addition, the less severe stress on the heating system also ensures a longer service life of the boiler.

Installation of solar thermal energy: high-yield plant

However, the purchase of a plant for solar thermal energy can also be interesting for quite a different reason: currently, the interest rate on the capital market is at a historic low.

Lucrative solar thermal is becoming increasingly popular: is the investment worthwhile?: solar

The sun as an investment.

So, if you invest about 8,000 euros to install a system for solar thermal energy and save heating costs of 900 euros per year, you will receive a return of 11.25% - and that with a manageable risk and for the benefit of the environment. The investment sum can be reduced even further by promoting the BAFA: for systems with a collector size of up to 10 m², a grant of 500 euros is granted as a lump sum. In addition, it amounts to 50 euros per square meter - in our example, that is 750 euros. In the end, it turns out that not only the environment benefits from solar thermal energy, the investment also makes sense from an economic point of view.

Cover picture: Pixabay, andreas160578
Hot water supply: Pixabay, Vijayanarasimha
Collectors: Pixabay, skeeze
Solar energy: Pixabay, webandi

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