First online consumer platform for purchasing solar energy in remote solar plants

Source: press release, 24 March 2020

photo: Sun Investment Group
photo: Sun Investment Group

Lithuania’s solar scene has achieved another milestone in solar energy generation by presenting remote solar consumer platform to its residents. The project is unique as it gives an opportunity to buy or rent a remote solar panel and do all that using one online platform. As the world needs faster and more efficient ways to generate renewable energy, online platforms such as Solar Community could be a life-changing solution.

The online platform enables consumers to purchase a part of solar energy generated in remote solar parks. New opportunities for residents of apartments appeared as Lithuanian Ministry of Energy introduced the new law to install solar plants on 1st of October 2019. Residents now can produce and consume electricity for their own use in geographically different places. The buyer calculates how much energy a household uses and then accordingly buys a part of remotely generated power. Capacities range from 1 kW to 10 kW and feed the electricity produced into the grid to cover their household needs later.

Andrius Terskovas, Managing Partner and Chief Business Development Officer of Sun Investment Group, explains, “The world is eager to contribute to clean energy generation and switch to solar energy. But eagerness is not enough – at this point, we have to act quickly and come up with more efficient solutions. The Lithuanian market was suitable to start our project. Recently, Lithuania – in pursuit of the EU energy plans – passed amendments stating that everyone has the right to generate and use renewable energy sources from remote solar power plants.”

Terskovas adds that it does not only help Lithuania to move towards climate neutrality, but it’s also a practical way for citizens to save money: “An average Lithuanian household needs a 2-3 kW power solar panel. So within a year of using a 2 kW solar panel, a household would approximately save 190 euros, around 930 trees, and reduce CO2 emission by 37 tonnes. Of course, the return depends on a panel’s size and whether you rent or buy it, but the results are evident.”

Andrius Terskovas explains how platforms similar to Solar Community could speed up the conversion to renewables. “Companies are often discouraged from building solar panels in their property, as it’s expensive to build, takes a long time to get permissions for building it, and there is a lack of solar energy auction quotas. Until now, in Lithuania, only a few companies and individual users had enough resources to build solar panels, but the new platform would open the door for people living in shared premises and for companies with fewer resources.”

Solar Community is an example of how governments and organisations can include more individual and private consumers to contribute to a clean energy transition. Businesses can also use the new remote model. With these changes, it is expected that the popularity of solar energy will increase encouraging other countries to follow Lithuania’s example.

Household owners and companies can also apply for the financial compensation for buying the remote solar panels. The Lithuanian Energy Ministry has recently released a support scheme which allows consumers to apply for a one-time compensation of 323 EUR per installed kW. This is expected to increase the current 3,400 producing consumers by several times.