There are more and more photovoltaic installations that look as bad as architecture in Poland can look – comments an expert who told us whether solarosis can be a side effect of the government program “My electricity”, i.e. 5000 plus for solar panels.

On July 23, Prime Minister Morawiecki announced the government program “My Electricity”, under which private electricity consumers will be able to apply for subsidies for home photovoltaic installations. They are expected to reach even 50 percent. the value of such an installation, but not more than 5000 PLN. There will be a total of PLN 1 billion to be allocated, and PLN 200,000 will be used for funding. households. Experts have already calculated that in the vast majority of cases payments will cover only about 15-25 percent. solar panel values. In their opinion, the program “My current” will significantly increase interest in solar energy anyway, because as a society we like to get something from the government. This is obviously very good, because we still do not use the potential of renewable energy sources. However, a side effect of this trend may be “solarosis”.

“Solarosis” and “My electricity”, i.e. 5000 plus for solar panels

I came up with this concept, inspired by pastelose, signboard and concretosis raging in our country. It concerns the disruption of spatial aesthetics by unregulated installation of solar panels, e.g. on block balconies or roofs of houses, which are completely unsuitable for this. Pictures of this type of implementation have been a sensation in industry groups for some time. That is why I decided to ask experts whether solarosis can really become a real problem. At the beginning I called Bartłomiej Derski from Wysokienapiecie.pl.

Can “solarosis” become a new pastelosis?

Bartłomiej Derski: There are no statistics on this topic yet. There are people who install photovoltaic panels as they should be, that is, they order professional companies that install them. There are also those who want to do it as cheaply as possible. So they buy devices without appropriate guarantees and use the services of untested installers who are completely uncomfortable with spatial aesthetics. The growing interest in photovoltaics actually means that there are more and more projects that look as bad as architecture in Poland can look. Panels are often attached to facades or roofs that are not suitable for this. Strange tax policy contributes to this. If the installation is mounted on a residential building, VAT is 8%, while if it requires a special construction on the ground, VAT is 23%. The industry is already talking about the need to harmonize this tax, but so far this issue has not been resolved. However, this is not the only problem. The boom for solar installations also means that there is a shortage of hands on the market, so people without much experience take on projects. They are often responsible for nightmarish constructions, which can then be seen around. It’s not just about aesthetics. Incorrectly installed panels are a threat because they can be picked up by a strong wind and hurt someone.

I saw photovoltaic panels mounted on the balconies of Polish blocks in the network. Will people who come up with such ideas be able to count on funding soon? I know that as part of the program “My electricity” it is to cover installations with a capacity of 2 to 10 kW.

There are no final regulations for this program yet, but such an announcement has actually appeared. 2 kW is a few panels, the more powerful ones have about 350 watts at the moment, so you would need to install them, say 6. On a regular PRL block, probably 2 or 3 will fit, unless someone has some amazing fantasy. The invention of Poles, however, knows no boundaries, so in practice it can be different. In the west, this type of issue is solved differently. Residents get along with the cooperative and install panels e.g. on the roof of the block. You can also allocate one facade for lining with special dark panels that look really good. In Poland, unfortunately, we have a big problem with social communication, so it probably would be quite difficult. However, there are exceptions, as the example from Wrocław has shown.

Can the installation on the balcony satisfy the apartment’s electricity demand? Maybe people will want to assemble them even without funding?

In an apartment where there is no electric heating or some very energy-consuming devices, such as tumble dryers, consumption fluctuates around 1.5 megawatt hours per year. Usually photovoltaic installations with such power are installed, which will produce approximately as much energy as the consumer will consume during the year. 2 panels with a power of 600 watts could therefore meet about half the demand for electricity in such a block in a block, if someone could install 4, maybe even the whole.

Are there any rules that regulate the aesthetics of installing solar panels?

There are certainly no such provisions in Poland. In other countries there are a lot of regulations that apply to the appearance of buildings, so perhaps they also apply to panels.

I understand that there is also no provision that would prohibit residents of blocks from installing panels on the balcony?

Here I have to send you to a professional installer who knows building law better.

So I asked the same question to Krzysztof Dorynek from the Znshine Solar company, which is the Polish representative of one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels.

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Krzysztof Dorynek: In the case of blocks, co-operative regulations on this subject may apply, provided they are issued. Each community has its own regulations. Some require approval of everything outside the block, e.g. satellite dishes or air conditioners. Others don’t pay much attention to this. It is probably similar with solar panels. If someone has a loose cooperative, they can install them, hoping that no one will stick. I saw some really absurd realizations of this type, although without major problems you can do everything so that even a balcony installation looks aesthetically pleasing. Just use e.g. glass glass modules that can replace barriers. However, there are no general rules that govern this. Something should be done about it, because when installing panels on balconies becomes common, Polish housing estates can look really terrible. I have heard about a company that plans to popularize this form of installing solar installations in our country, but I do not know what the effects will be. It would look much better if people got along and the panels were placed on the roofs of the blocks.

I saw some really absurd realizations. There are more and more of them, although today you can really do very easily to make them look aesthetically pleasing. There are glass profiles, there are glas glass modules that can be inserted into any railing and then it will look aesthetically pleasing. But who is to watch this? Probably nobody. There are no rules to regulate this, especially on private property. The fact that you should do something to make it look at least aesthetically pleasing, because if everyone does on the balcony, it will be awful. I will tell you that I have even heard of an installation company that will be pushing for solar installation on balconies. On what basis, whether it will be aesthetically pleasing, I do not know. Certainly, on the balcony it will be difficult to get the 2 KW regulation, which is to condition co-financing of PLN 5,000. It probably would have to be from 6 panels, but I know that there are such plans. It would look a lot better if people got along and the cooperative placed panels on the roof.

Article by Michał Bachowski: https://noizz.pl/design/czy-solaroza-zaleje-polske-przez-moj-prad-czyli-5000-plus-na-panele-sloneczne/5xfpnwv