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Photovoltaics: Calculate the return on your solar system

Income from the photovoltaic system can be easily calculated

The larger a photovoltaic system is, the less a kilowatt of peak power (kWp) costs. This shows a comparison of prices from 2019. © Stiftung Warentest

Income and expenses can be calculated better in the long term with photovoltaic systems than with most other investments. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) makes it possible. Anyone who installs a photovoltaic system and feeds solar power into the public grid receives a state-guaranteed remuneration from the grid operator for over 20 years and thus permanently reliable income. The feed-in tariff has fallen in recent years. But it is becoming more and more worthwhile to use part of the solar power in your own household. The self-generated electricity costs system operators much less than the household electricity they purchase from the energy supplier. And after the reform of solar subsidies, there is now more money for feeding electricity into the grid.

New solar subsidies: more feed-in tariffs, less bureaucracy

Higher remuneration for electricity feed-in. For systems commissioned after July 30, 2022, system operators will receive more money for the electricity they generate and feed into the public grid. Anyone who feeds all of the solar power into the grid will in future receive up to 13.0 cents per kilowatt hour – about twice as much as before. This means that solar systems with full feed-in can also be worthwhile again. For systems with self-consumption, the feed-in tariff increases to 8.2 cents per kWh. That is still 25 percent more than before (details on the EEG reform).

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Comprehensive tax exemption. The draft of the 2022 annual tax law provides for a comprehensive tax exemption for operators of small and medium-sized solar power plants from 2023 (save taxes with solar power). In the future, sales tax will no longer be payable for the delivery and installation of systems with an output of up to 30 kilowatts (kW). Plants on one- and two-family houses should also be exempt from income tax up to an output of 30 kW. For apartment buildings and mixed-use buildings, the limit is 15 kW per residential or commercial unit. The Bundestag and Bundesrat still have to agree. However, the planned tax exemption can already be taken into account in our solar calculator.

Calculate the yield of the solar system

Height. How high the return is depends on many factors – above all on the expected electricity yield and the acquisition costs of the system, but also on the proportion of self-consumption, the development of electricity prices, financing and tax aspects. Our return calculator takes all the key factors into account, compares income and expenditure in the individual years and calculates the return system operators can expect over a period of 20 years. The yield is calculated for systems on buildings with a peak output of up to 30 kWp.

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scenarios. The calculator can give you an important orientation about the possible course of your investment and the profitability of the system – but no security. Because the results include uncertain assumptions about electricity yield, ongoing operating costs, electricity price development and the proportion of electricity used by the company itself. Therefore, always calculate several scenarios and make more cautious assumptions.

Compensation rates to remain stable until January 2024

So far, the remuneration rates have fallen on a monthly basis. The later the system went into operation, the lower the feed-in tariff. The remuneration rates that have now been decided, on the other hand, are to remain stable until January 2024 and then only decrease by 1 percent every six months. However, depending on how the expansion of photovoltaics develops, the federal government may still make adjustments.

Information about solar energy

Current investigations and information about solar power systems and their insurance can be found on our photovoltaics topic page.

Optimal use of solar energy. Our solar energy special shows how you can optimally use your roof and façade to generate electricity, for hot water and to support the heating system.

PV systems with and without storage. Our special return on PV systems explains which factors influence the profitability of solar power systems and how system operators can optimally exercise their tax options.

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