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Using the potential of photovoltaic energy installed on the roofs of public buildings in Alba Iulia, the local administration could save almost 490,000 euros annually, according to a report published on Thursday, June 9, by Greenpeace.

The investment in photovoltaic systems would amount to 4 million euros, the costs being amortized in about 8 years.

The report “An Unused Resource – The Photovoltaic Potential of Public Buildings in Romania” was prepared by Greenpeace in the context of the record rise in electricity prices in Romania. The document analyzes the potential of solar energy to help reduce the electricity costs of town halls in our country. “Local governments in Romania have in their administration a significant patrimony of public buildings whose roofs can be used for the installation of photovoltaic panels and the generation of cheap and clean energy”, the quoted document states.

Depending on the possible annual savings, Alba Iulia is in second place in a ranking that includes, among others, cities such as Iasi, Oradea, Craiova, Sibiu, Arad or Baia Mare.

According to the report “An unused resource – The photovoltaic potential of public buildings in Romania”, 11 cities in the country can save over 4 million euros annually by using the potential of photovoltaic energy installed on the roofs of public buildings in the local heritage.

According to the report, the biggest savings can be made in cities with higher electricity consumption.

The buildings of the patrimony of the analyzed cities have on average three times more roof area available for photovoltaic installations than the necessary one to cover their own consumption. The use of excess capacity can lead to increased savings on monthly bills in Romanian cities.

In Alba Iulia, the electricity consumption is 6,197 MWh and the potential production of photovoltaic energy was calculated at 8,627 MWh.

The potential of photovoltaic energy versus what is needed to cover own consumption

According to the Greenpeace analysis, the public buildings in Alba Iulia have a roof area of ​​58,500 square meters. The required capacity is 5 MW, the rooftop potential of photovoltaic panels being 7 MW.

Also, the production need was calculated at 6,531 MWh, and the rooftop production potential of photovoltaic panels at 8,627 MWh.

According to the report, The costs of generating solar energy on the roofs of buildings owned by local governments range from 71 euros / MWh to 79 euros / MWh, well below current electricity prices in spot markets, which range around 200 euros / MWh.

The necessary investments for the generation of photovoltaic energy on the roofs of public buildings in Alba Iulia amount to 4,081,270 euros.

Evolution of the electricity market and solar energy costs

European and global energy markets have experienced some of the largest price fluctuations between 2020 and 2022, and the effects on European consumers have always been on the public agenda.

Electricity prices fell in Romania in 2020 following the sanitary measures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, from 51 euro / MWh to 40 euro / MWh, a decrease of 22% which was not felt by final consumers, the vast majority having annual fixed price contracts (OPCOM, 2022).

In 2021, amid severe restrictions introduced in 2020 and economic recovery, electricity demand returned to 2019, and prices began to rise again. At the same time, fossil gas prices, which depend on the entire European continent and decide the final price of electricity, have risen amid limited gas exports from Russia (Bloomberg, 2022) in preparation for the invasion of Ukraine and growing demand from the economy. Chinese (S&P Global 2021).

The average price for 2021 reached 104 euros / MWh, more than 2.6 times higher than the price of 2020. The price of electricity continued to rise in 2022 reaching absolute records such as those of March, when the average price exceeded 274 euro / MWh (OPCOM, 2022).

The Romanian state has tried to reduce the pressure of rising energy costs by capping final prices to consumers and settling real costs through suppliers.

In the context of electricity prices currently fluctuating around 200 euro / MWh due to the dependence of electricity networks on the generation of electricity based on fossil gases, solar energy is the cheapest source of energy.

The costs of generating solar energy on the roofs of buildings owned by local governments vary between 71 euro / MWh and 79 euro / MWh, well below the current electricity prices on the spot market, which varies around 200 euro / MWh.

See the full report HERE (.PDF)


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