Record-high electricity prices and a greater environmental commitment mean that more and more cottage owners are choosing to cover their rooftops with solar panels. Over time, there is money to be saved.
In October, a record for electricity was set in this country. According to the Nord Pole energy swap, the price of electricity was 1.43 NOK per kilowatt-hour on average throughout the day in Eastern Norway, Southern Norway, and Western Norway. This, combined with the growing commitment to climate among us Norwegians, means that many cottage owners are now installing PV systems on their rooftops.
– Many cottage owners are tired of high electricity and network rent bills on properties that are poorly used. By installing solar panels on the roof, the fixed costs of electricity and grid rent are reduced by approx. Like the cost of having loan-financed solar panels on the roof, says Andreas Thursheim, founder, co-owner and general manager of Otovo.
After holiday homes also joined Enova’s subsidy scheme three years ago, the cottage market now accounts for about seven percent of total solar cell sales in Norway.
In large home municipalities, such as Ringsaker, Flå and Ål, solar cells in vacation homes now make up 70 percent of the market, he says. Torchem believes that this will only increase in the coming years.
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– If we imagine a factory that costs 120,000 kroner to install and at an electricity price of about 1.50 kWh per kilowatt-hour, this means a saving of about 9,000 kroner per year, depending on where the cabins are located. Thursheim says that marine cabins often have better savings due to their sunny conditions.
When the 120,000 kroner you invested is repaid, you get free electricity accordingly. The support you also get from Enova for installation makes it even cheaper.
– Thorsheim says the regular cab system is 6000 watts.
Catherine Isaacsen is among those who have changed the source of energy. 20 square meters of the roof of her south-facing home in Hankou is now covered in black solar panels. Although the investment cost her 300,000 kroner, she did not regret it in a single day. The price also includes helicopter charging for the solar panels, as there is no road in the cabin that goes to the front.
– I’ve worked a lot abroad and seen that a lot of solar cells are used for heating in southern Europe. In addition, I am also interested in taking care of the environment. After I was able to add water, I was able to use the cabin so much more and that was when the idea for rooftop solar panels started to mature, she says.
– All electricians who know solar cells outside and around
However, she believes that it was difficult to enter the market. However, she only replaced her after attending a media meeting in Ostfold about the use of solar cells.
– I have to do something with the ceiling anyway and then it fits well. My roommate thought this was a completely dead boy, and thought it would take a long time before it paid off. But she says she was my moon and my money, so I never doubted.
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– I was worried that the solar cells would have to fuse with the roof tiles in the cabin. For this I chose black solar panels. She also says that it was important to me that these records should not be a nuisance to others.
The solar cell roof was installed in 2019, and it provides 6000 watts. Today, you don’t pay a penny in electricity or grid rent. All the electricity that it produces and does not use itself is sold in the market.
For me, this was an investment. Instead of putting this money in a bank account without much interest, I think this was a better investment. Besides, I do something for the environment, she says.
Since Hanko is not the snowiest place in Norway, the roof of the solar cell produces electricity for a much longer period of the year than, say, the cabins on the mountain.
“There are already many cabin residents who are beyond just curious, and I think there are many who will be investing in solar cell technology in the coming years,” she says.
A little west of Geilo, in Ostedalen, Anders Ritter has done the same in his family cabin since 1913. The south-facing roof now consists of 20 solar panels, which together provide 7.9 watts. He paid 110,000 kroner for it, plus he received a 17,000 kroner grant from Enova.
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– With our agreement with the electric company, we save between 8000 and 9000 crowns a year, he says.
They sell all the surplus electricity they don’t use, and return to the energy market.
– When you intend to install solar panels, the point is not how much power the cabin itself needs. We use no more than 2000 kWh of what we produce. Our factory produces about 7000 kWh in one year. The agreement we had with our electric company meant that they bought up to 5,000 of those seven thousand for NOK 1.25 each. kilowatt-hours, he says.
The split inverter switches between the use of electricity from the PV system and the conventional power grid automatically. In addition to free electricity, they also avoid paying grid rent and electricity tax.
However, it is not yet appropriate to cut off the traditional power supply for good.
– If the cabin was located in the southern latitudes, where the solar radiation is evenly distributed, this would have been an alternative. In the winter, we rely on using traditional electricity, he says.
There are no battery solutions strong enough to store excess energy during winter either.
– I used one of these online solar calculators where you can just enter your address. Then I realized I could produce as much electricity on my own as the cabin, he says.
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Solar panels can be installed on most types of roofs, both new and old. Ryder has always been curious about alternative energy sources. The decision to go for solar in the cabin was made this spring.
I have always been interested in environmental and energy solutions. This decision was made out of common sense. Here in Norway, we have a lot of south facing rooftops, which can produce electricity. He also says these rooftops will save our water tank.
Solcellekraft AS is among the players now supplying solar panels for outdoor, pitched or flat roofs, as well as roof-integrated solar panels. This means that the panels fit into the existing ceiling rather than being placed on top.
– The solar cells on the roof of the cabin are still somewhat new, but they are starting to move. Among other things, we have been contacted by developers who want to offer rooftop solar cells in the fields of large cabins. Says Jarley Soros, Professional Director at Solcellekraft, especially in Hallingdal, Nore and Uvdal.
He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Norwegian Solar Energy Association.
In Norway, it is common to have smaller solar cell systems in cabins, which are independent of the power grid. Old solar panels were used to get some light into the cabins. As the level of cabins increased and more people received electricity, there was also less demand for these smaller PV systems. But now the ceiling panels come.
—This is basically the same type of technology that Norwegian homeowners pioneered in the 1970s, except that these solar panels are about ten times more powerful, says Soros.
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