Solar electricity without any support

Berlin, August 26, 2013 At the Handelsblatt Annual Meeting for renewable energies 2013 in Berlin the energy pioneer GP JOULE has required more support for creative solutions. “The production of solar energy can be profitable without financial aid”, said Ove Petersen, one of the two managing directors and company founders of GP JOULE. “But therefore we need innovative ideas and new structures with the aid of which these innovations can really be implemented.

In Germany and throughout Europe photovoltaic is still far from having reached its full potential whereas at the same time the costs for this technology are continuously decreasing, Petersen pointed out. “If we aim at moving energy supply to 100% of renewable energies in the future, we cannot set this potential aside, especially because photovoltaic can become competitive even without subsidies within a short time.” Hitherto the necessary structures were often missing and the production of PV electricity in Germany is not more expensive than in the south of the EU. In Germany, the technology has become competitive and in the meantime also an export hit on the basis of the EEG (renewable energy act). “We finally have to correct the erroneous belief that PV is profitable only in the south of Europe. Seeing that German politics wants to stop this technology just now when PV is becoming competitive I can only shake my head.”

In this context it is obvious that something has to be changed in the legal regulation. “Instead of subsidizing the technology we have to subsidize the market. And therefore we need efficient supporting instruments”, Petersen continued. He calls on politics for more reliability and clear regulations in order to finally achieve the climate protection objectives. Such supporting instruments are Netmetering and taking measures to define clearly and allow the individual power generation.
However, the crucial point for a successful turnaround in energy policy is to guarantee the load management in the future by renewable energies in case of capacity and net bottlenecks. That objective could be fulfilled for example by the use of leading-edge technology as the “electricity gap filler” of GP JOULE. This tool can efficiently store and make available electricity of renewable sources during high consumption periods by the aid of a symbiosis between hydrogen electrolysis and a biogas plant. We also need to think about a system change, said Petersen. Ground mounted PV systems can generate balancing energy if they are no longer designed to produce peak performance – however only rarely achieved – but run in a throttled way in order to be accelerated when necessary and thus become real integrated services providers.

Other GP JOULE projects also show that solar energy could be leveraged far more intelligently and thus economically than it has been the case up to now. In the US State of California, for example, the energy pioneer concluded a power purchase agreement with Paraiso Vineyard: The Californian winery will be the owner of a newly built solar facility whereas GP JOULE garantuees for supply and will manage the contracts for the so-called left-over power quantities. “In this matter we cooperate with Rabobank,” Petersen explains. “Basically, however, banks and insurance companies are too careful with the financing of such models whereas there is a large business potential for them. They only should develop the suitable products.”

Petersen presented several other GP JOULE projects, e.g. the Cultiveco greenhouse technology and the mini-JOULE, the do-it-yourself solar energy plant. “All these examples show that solar energy can be used more efficiently and need-based by the aid of innovative solutions,” says Petersen. “Therefore, however, we have to create the appropriate environment: by developing the finance and insurance products, by removing legal obstacles as for example for the injection of stored electricity and generally by a shift in our thinking in order to optimally integrate solar energy in an energy supply generated 100 % of renewable sources.”

PR contact:
Mr. Timo Bovi
Tel. +49 (0) 30 5200057806
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The company:
Simply energy – according to this slogan GP JOULE develops, engineers and implements projects for the promising utilization of renewable energies. Co-founders and agricultural engineers, Ove Petersen and Heiner Gärtner together with André Hirsch, diploma in business administration,  aim to combine the interests of land use and profitability in order to create exciting and profitable opportunities for investors. Besides the business fields of solar, wind and biomass energy, with their future strategies division they have established a knowledge pool that integrates the know-how of all their specialist departments and allows them to create comprehensive energy solutions. At the same time they are focusing on the research of new technologies. GP JOULE has got four locations in Germany and two international locations in the USA and Canada. The headquarters is in Reußenköge in Northern Germany.