October 20, 2021

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Bjørn Thorud

Interest in solar energy is growing – how long does it take before it becomes profitable – NRK Norway – News overview from different parts of the country

Electricity prices are high Much higher than usual For this season, the Power analysts fear that winter will be too expensive Lots of families.

The average price in the Oslo region last week was 110 øre per kilowatt-hour. At the same time last year, the price was 10.4 øre.

But not everyone worries about standard prices. NRK recently spoke about Ian Bjørn Bednar of Gjerdrum, who is taking it all in full swing. he chose Smart energy solutions and solar panels Home already in the nineties.

Bjørn Thorud, who lives and works on solar energy, did the same at home. He believes the electricity situation is now showing how useful solar energy can be for Norway.

– In a dry year, like now, we like to have plenty of sunshine. Even in winter when it is very cold, it is clear. So although the effect of the sun is less in winter, it is very beneficial on cooler days.

Many are seeking support

Not everyone thinks that solar energy pays off in the winter country of Norway, but in recent years more and more people have opened their eyes to the opportunities that solar energy offers. Shows an overview of Enova.

At Enova, individuals can apply for financial support for various energy saving measures at home.

When investing in solar cells, you can get up to 26,250 NOK.

The aim of the subsidy scheme is, among other things, to reduce the load on the power grid, says press director Elif Flakny.

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– Enova supports the installation of solar cells in residential homes so that you as a home owner can cover some of your electricity needs through a renewable energy source.

Enova has been supporting various energy measures in homes since 2015, and for solar cells since 2016, says press director Elif Flakny.

Photo: Lasse Berre / Lasse Berre

The number of people who received support for solar cells nearly doubled from 2018 to 2019, from 837 to 1666. In 2020, the number remained stable, and then it was the most popular of the year among the procedures for which support is provided. Enovatilskuddet.

We can safely say that producing our own electricity via solar cells is a common procedure, says Flackney.

This solar energy can be used

The interesting thing is that it is a technique that can be used everywhere.

Bjorn Thorod is an energy nerd. He has worked in renewables since the beginning of the 2000s and now leads the solar business at Multiconsult. They have projects in Norway, Antarctica, and Africa, among other places.

– But we have different houses. Some of them may be in the valley and have a lot of shade, while others are in the crest and have a lot of light.

Bjørn Thorud leads the solar business at Multiconsult.

Bjorn Thorod worked on renewable energy projects in Svalbard. Solar cells have little to contribute in the dark, but during the summer they can produce electricity around the clock.

Photo: Håkon Barstad/Europower

On the Internet you can find maps of real estate in Norway that show the roofs of the house suitable for solar cells, how large the facility can accommodate and what it can produce annually.

According to Thorod, southern and eastern Norway have the best solar conditions, but this does not mean that they cannot be suitable in the north.

– We work in Svalbard, where the sun is weak, but the price of electricity is high. Thorod says that makes it profitable.

Great potential in Norway

Associate Professor Martin Müller-Grave confirmed that solar energy has great potential in Norway at the Department of Physics and Technology at UiB. It searches, among other things, on renewable energy and solar energy.

numbers from NVE It shows that installed capacity in Norway in 2020 increased 10 times compared to 2015.

However, electricity production is estimated to be less than 1/1000 of the electricity consumption in Norway. So why is this not higher than that? Germany will be able to generate more than 10 percent of its electricity from solar energy by 2020.

Global solar cell installation has increased due to increased efficiency and lower costs, but in Norway we have not seen such a “boom”. Gref thinks that’s because we already have cheap, climate-friendly electricity.

With the price of electricity rising, as we see now, it is believed that more people will take the step and install solar cells.

The major transformation will only happen if the price of electricity remains high over time (several years, editor’s note). Then the profitability of solar cells will increase, and you will make financial profits more quickly.

Solar cell roof in the Strand Church in Tau.

In 2016, the Strand Church in Tau became the first church in Norway to have solar cells on the roof to be self-sufficient in electricity.

Photo: Multiconsult

Repayment period 10-15 years

In general, experts NRK has spoken to believe that it is difficult to calculate how long it will take before an investment in solar cells becomes profitable.

It depends on how much it costs to install it in your home, how much electricity you save that you don’t need to buy, and how much electricity you can sell yourself.

The repayment period may range from 10 to 15 years, Bjorn Thorod estimates.

At the same time, most solar cells have a guaranteed life of 25-30 years, and often last longer than that.

Not everyone envisions living in their home for long, but surveys from Sweden and the United States show that you can still return to invest.

In those countries, we see that the value of the house rises by the cost of purchasing the solar cells, says Thorod.

New technology and design

However, prices vary greatly between different solutions with solar panels and solar roof tiles, with the latter being somewhat more expensive.

— That’s actually the case with our homes — we pay a lot for the design, says Thorud, who himself invested in solar-cell roof tiles on his home.

The solar cells in Bjørn Thorud's house are installed in the roof.

Bjørn Thorud himself chose a so-called “in-Roof” system in his home, in which solar cells are immersed in the roof.

Photo: private

– If I deduct the amount it will cost me to build a roof, I will have a very cheap PV system.

Researcher Martin Muller-Grave also makes a point that is pushing solar cell installation beyond economic intensification – the climate crisis.

– Here you are willing to pay more for clean energy, and that’s a good thing.