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One does not expect Germany and Sweden to have a strong solar presence, but they do.  Europe seems to be one of the last places to promote solar power initiatives, given that the sun is mainly in the south of Europe.  Spain leads the way in solar initiatives.   You will find that I have reported previously on my surprise that solar is so widely implemented, even in cloudy Berlin.  Around Europe, one is increasingly seeing Commercial and DIY Solar Panels. Sweden on the other hand is further north and known for its short but beautiful summers and lond grey winters with clouds hovering just above tall buildings.  But here is the thing, solar has become much cheaper and efficient and now the government has provided special subsidies for solar installations.

The government of Sweden has recently decided to boost the usage of solar panels by offering a generous subsidy to companies, public organisations and importantly, individuals.  While the initiative is aimed at larger scale projects that offer community efficiency, properly installed grid tied solar systems will be within the reach of individual homes.  The purpose of the grant is to encourage the introduction of more green electricity in its energy mix up until December 2011.  The level of support is generally 60% of the investment cost, except for large companies that will get 55% of their costs covered.

Interestingly, Germany is considering slashing subsidies to renewable energy industries, particularly solar energy projects.  Not it appears due to any problems, but becauise the cost of solar production has fallen so far that the level of subsidy can be scaled back to reflect the change in cost of installation.

If the governments of northern European countries so the value in encouraging solar power installations, it certainly makes it more interesting for individuals to consider how they can supplement their energy usage.  While “off the shelf” project to convert a complete house are relatively expensive, their long life span means they worth considering.  For the more modest usage such as simply running small system to cover extra loads or to supply electricity in morre remote homes and holiday houses (a big thing in Europe), a DIY Solar Panel project can be a simple and cost effective solution.

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