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Solar Systems 2022

Map Description

A total of 19,615 individual systems are presented in the two maps, of which 8,201 are solar thermal systems (as of December 31, 2021) and 11,414 photovoltaic systems (as of March 3, 2022). These only include systems that are known to the various funding bodies. However, it may be assumed that more than 90 % of all existing systems in Berlin were recorded for the different system types at their respective times of data collection.

The stand-alone photovoltaic systems, e.g. solar-powered parking meters or lighting systems and similar off-grid systems, form a separate data set that is not included here.

Map 08.09.1 Photovoltaics (PV)

As of March 16, 2022, 11,414 PV systems were registered in Berlin. The great majority of these are small systems below 30 kW (10,606) while only 188 of them are larger systems (> 100 kW). They have a total installed capacity of about 160,700 kW. Of these, the above-mentioned larger systems account for about a third (approx. 49,700 kW) of the total capacity in Berlin. The three boroughs of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Pankow have by far the largest number of systems and the highest total capacity with the number of systems ranging between 1,668 and 2,213. In terms of installed capacity, the borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg also stands out with 15.32 MW. Here, the considerably lower absolute number of systems is offset by individual systems that have a high installed capacity. Taking a closer look at postal code level reveals that most postal code areas with capacities exceeding 1000 kW fall into single family-home estates on the periphery with a high absolute number of systems.

Tab. 3: Number of PV systems and their installed capacity in Berlin’s boroughs (as of March 16, 2022, electricity feed-in as of December 31, 2018)

Since the systems often produce more electricity than is needed for self-supply, the surplus electricity is fed into the grid. In Berlin, this accounts for about half of the PV electricity. Since 2012, the amount fed into the grid has risen steadily from around 43 GWh in 2012 to its peak value of 69.8 GWh in 2018 (see Fig. 3). In 2016, a slight decrease was observed for Berlin. Between 2012 and the end of 2018, the largest increases were recorded for the boroughs of Marzahn-Hellersdorf (+127 %), Reinickendorf (+120 %) and Mitte (+83 %). The highest absolute electricity feed-ins were recorded for the boroughs of Marzahn-Hellersdorf (11,325.4 MWh) and Treptow-Köpenick (8,596.04 MWh) according to the latest data (cf. Tab. 3). Electricity feed-ins are clearly concentrated in the northern and eastern boroughs. Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg feeds the least electricity into the grid. This is, however, also the borough with the fewest systems accounting for a low total capacity. The more centrally located area 10365, west of the Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde (Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery), however, was the postal code area with the highest electricity feed-in, which was around 3,063 MWh, according to the 2018 data collection. With 4,190 kW, this area’s installed capacity also ranks among the top of the PV capacity aggregated by Berlin’s postal code areas.

Fig. 4: Electricity feed-ins of PV systems at the level of Berlin’s boroughs (as of December 31, 2018)

The relative coverage rates of photovoltaics vary across the boroughs, fluctuating between 3.82 % in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and 15.79 % in Marzahn-Hellersdorf (cf. Tab.4).
At first glance, the relative coverage rates between the potential and existing stock calculated for the boroughs and postal code areas appear to be relatively low. This is, however, due to the difference between the theoretically calculated potential and the potential that is technically feasible. These would need to be confirmed individually by further investigations and calculations to facilitate reliable assessments.

At the smaller scale of postal code areas, much higher coverage rates (> 20 % in some cases) can be detected than at borough level. This is not only the case for postal code areas located in the two boroughs with the highest coverage rates (Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Treptow-Köpenick), but also areas in the boroughs of Reinickendorf, Pankow and Tempelhof-Schöneberg. At the same time, there are postal code areas with coverage rates below 1%, mainly in the inner city area. The underlying reasons in the two areas on the periphery lie in their respective development and therefore the system structure.

A high proportion of private single-family and two-family homes, which is much more common in the outer areas of the city than in the inner city, results in a higher density of smaller systems. As the roof area available per building is also smaller than, for example, that of flat roof areas of many a commercial area, however, this leads to higher coverage rates regarding the electricity generation numbers that PV systems could potentially achieve in single-family and two-family home developments.

Tab. 4: Relative PV capacity coverage rates in Berlin’s boroughs (PV systems as of January 14, 2021 (potential in relation to the installed capacity)

Results of the study on photovoltaic potential on roof areas

Of the nearly 536,000 buildings examined, some 421,000 buildings are suitable for solar PV use. The area that is theoretically suitable for modules amounts to 45.7 km². If this area was used to generate electricity using PV, 7,929 GWh/a of electricity could be generated via PV systems with an efficiency of 19.5 %. This could save 4.3 million t of CO2.

Tab. 5: Results of the solar potential analysis for photovoltaics on roof areas in Berlin (flat roofs are taken into account with an elevated installation facing south) (IP SYSCON 2022)

  • Suitable solar module area

    45,679,550 m²

  • capacity

    8,894,703 kWp

  • Electricity yield (with an efficiency of 19.5 %)

    7,929 GWh/a

  • CO2 savings per year (with an efficiency of 19.5 %)

    4,313,594 t

Map 08.09.2 Solar Thermal Energy (ST)

The updated data based on additional information from the Federal Office of Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) indicates that some 8,200 solar thermal systems are installed on rooftops throughout the city.

It is evident, both at a smaller scale of individual systems and at scales aggregated by postal code and borough, that the largest number of systems are installed on the periphery of the city. At borough level, key areas emerge for the boroughs of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Marzahn-Hellersdorf with more than 1,100 systems each (cf. Table 5). Similar to the situation in the PV system sector, these are smaller systems (avg. 9-11 m²) installed on single-family and two-family homes for private use. They are primarily used to heat water (IP SYSCON 2016) and thus constitute an important contribution to the energy supply. A considerably lower number of systems is installed in the inner city area and more specifically in the boroughs of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (76 systems), Mitte (104 systems), Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf (207 systems). These are also the boroughs, however, with systems featuring a large-scale potential for electrical output or heat generation (avg. collector surface of 15-37 m²). These are located on buildings with public or industrial/commercial use. It is also worth noting that (as of December 31, 2015) six of the ten largest solar thermal systems in Berlin are installed on multi-family homes, i.e. they support the energy supply in the residential sector.

Tab. 6: Number (as of December 31, 2021), operator status and collector surface (both as of December 31, 2015) of solar thermal systems in Berlin’s boroughs

Results of the study on solar thermal potential

Of the almost 536,000 buildings examined, more than 464,000 buildings are suitable for solar thermal use with a total module area of 66.2 km².

Tab. 7: Results of the solar potential analysis for solar thermal energy for water heating on roof areas in Berlin (flat roofs are considered with an elevated installation facing south) (IP SYSCON 2022)

  • Suitable solar module area

    66,264,578 m²

  • No. of buildings

    464,826

  • Potential heat

    40,553 GWh/ a

Map 08.09.3 Solar Potential – Irradiation

When taking into account all surfaces in the city, Berlin‘s calculated annual sums of global irradiation range between a maximum of about 1,220 kWh/(m²/a) and a minimum of about 246 kWh/(m²/a). The mean annual sum for Berlin set by the Deutscher Wetterdienst DWD is 1,032 kWh/(m²/a). Roof areas only record very low numbers when they are covered by trees or are shaded for other reasons (cf. Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Influence of the covering effect of trees also due to roof orientation on the calculated solar irradiation of rooftops (mean annual sums in kWh/(m²/a))
Fig. 5: Influence of the covering effect of trees also due to roof orientation on the calculated solar irradiation of rooftops (mean annual sums in kWh/(m²/a))
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin

Top: calculated irradiation of the surface grids at a resolution of 0.5 * 0.5 m², in black: building perimeters.
Bottom: left: section of aerial photograph, February 2021, right: section of aerial photograph, August 2020.
Images: aerial photographs: Geoportal Berlin, DOP20RGBI (bottom left); TrueDOP20RGB – summer aerial photography flight (bottom right).

In contrast, the highest numbers are measured on roof areas neither shaded nor covered that are facing south. Areas not shaded but covered in vegetation, such as the Tempelhofer Feld, also record high numbers around 1,000 kWh/(m²/a). Forest areas and tree-covered areas, on the other hand, reduce irradiation substantially, down to the lowest irradiation range of around 250-300 kWh/(m²/a) due to their structure and shading.

Here, it is apparent that there is a direct link to urban climatic effects, such as those modelled in the analysis maps of the climate model (cf. Environmental Atlas map “Climate Model Berlin: Radiation Temperature 2015” (04.10.3)). In this perspective, the “Solar Potential – Irradiation” (08.09.3) map may be used for a variety of purposes.