– A revolution for the solar energy market – E24

- A revolution for the solar energy market - E24

Record high electricity prices are causing more individuals and companies to install solar cells on their rooftops. Summer pushed despair to new heights, says Otovo president Andreas Thursheim.

Installers Alexis Ventura and Nelson Barrios have installed Otovo’s solar panels at Algete outside Madrid, Spain.
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Energy shortages, sky-high electricity prices and low solar panel prices have led to a sharp increase in the number of rooftop solar cell systems in Norway.

Asko, Norway’s largest wholesaler, has invested in 6,616 solar panels on the roof of the new Asko Oslofjord logistics building in Sande in Vestfold.

– This is our first year in business, so we’re excited about how much we’re saving, says director Knut Andreas Krahn.

The solar panels cover an area of ​​13,000 square meters and cost 13 million NOK. Of the annual electricity consumption of about 9 GWh, solar panels will cover about 20 percent of the consumption.

According to Asko’s calculations, this could save the company four million NOK in electricity costs. So far this year alone, the company has saved 2.6 million NOK.

Knut Andreas Kran is the General Manager of Asko Oslofjord, the new logistics building for the Asko wholesaler.

– Are you satisfied with the investment in light of the high electricity prices?

– He’s so lucky. The supplier believes that we will be able to save on investment in four years, but it depends on electricity prices. Crane says the horizon is ten years.

Can save 500,000 NOK

Norwegian Hydro has also recently invested in solar cells. Among other things, 1,520 panels will be installed on the roof of the Vækerø Business Park.

The building houses Hydro, If and Sweco, and an estimate shows that the companies together can save NOK 500,000 annually.

There was some delay in the project, but now we have started to install the solar cells on the roof. The goal is to start production in parts of the plant in September, and to be fully operational by the end of the year, says Anders Vindegg Director of Communications at Hydro.

Asko, Norway’s largest wholesaler, has invested 13 million in solar cells on the roof of a new logistics building in Vestfold.

Significant increase in the number of facilities

According to recent figures from the NVE, about 12,500 solar cell systems are now registered and connected to the electricity grid. The total capacity is 227 megawatts.

While in 2020, 2,158 solar cell plants with a total capacity of 41 MW have been installed, 3206 plants with a capacity of 68 MW have been installed this year so far.

The numbers speak for themselves. It’s been up since last year, and perhaps the most important explanation for the increase is the price of electricity, says Jarand Hall, chief engineer in NVE’s Energy and Licensing Division.

Chief Engineer Jarand Hall works in NVE’s Energy and Licensing Division.

Saving the use of self-produced electricity, and in addition, there is a greater understanding that we will need more electricity in the future, and that it is beneficial to contribute more energy, says Hall.

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Otovo CEO Andreas Thorsheim announced a “tsunami” of new projects in January of this year, and demand remains high as a result of high electricity prices.

It has been a revolutionary 12 months for the solar market. Demand has nearly tripled since the gas price hike. When the shock wave seemed to subside, war broke out in Ukraine, Torchem tells E24.

Otovo is a digital marketplace that connects solar panel buyers to their local network of quality-assured installations. The company is embarking on a large-scale expansion into Europe, aided by growing concern about rising energy prices.

Summer pushed despair to new heights. He says we have thousands of people on the site every day.

Otovo CEO Andreas Thorsheim is satisfied with the development of the solar market. He thinks there is room for more players.

hard winter

At the time of writing, Otovo has 42 vacancies. The shortage of mechanics and electricians created long waiting lists.

Winter was the hardest. We installed about half of our order book in the first quarter, which is less than we usually have. There were too few mechanics and electricians, Thursheim says, to be able to get away with so much interest.

According to Torsheim, the situation is now better. Otovo currently has 350 employees, which is double what it had a year ago.

We’re increasingly able to pull the order book, and we’re increasing the number of fixtures we take by about 20 percent per quarter. We aim to achieve 100% growth. He adds that there is a lot of work to be done.

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In 2021, the total electricity bill for the Vækerø business park will approach 12 million NOK. With a rough calculation, Hydro estimates it will save NOK 500,000 annually by using rooftop solar panels.

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202 percent increase

Otovo’s sales volume tripled in the second quarter. Compared to the second quarter of 2021, the company’s turnover was 64.2 million NOK.

This corresponds to an increase of 202 percent.

The company currently operates in Norway, Sweden, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Great Britain and Austria. The increase is greater in Italy.

It seems good to move on. Consumers and politicians will want to use solar cells and batteries for at least the next decade. Thus, there is room for more in the industry, says Thursheim.

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Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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