How can I generate electricity

Generate electricity yourself - all possibilities in 2021

Regardless of whether for environmental reasons, to be independent of the major electricity providers or simply to lower your electricity bill: Nowadays, anyone who wants to generate their own electricity has various options. But before we give you an overview of the electricity generation methods, you might be wondering what speaks in favor of your own electricity generation.

Why should I generate my own electricity?

There are 4 reasons for generating your own electricity: Environmental protection, efficiency, freedom and money.

Environment:

Most ways to generate your own electricity are as sustainable as possible. Solar and wind energy, for example, do not generate CO2 emissions either during generation or use. In addition, unlike fossil raw materials, they do not pollute the environment and are also infinitely reproducible. If you decide to generate your own electricity, this has a huge advantage: Instead of unclean coal-based electricity or controversial nuclear energy, you use either partially or even exclusively your own green electricity. In this way you reduce the environmental impact and make a contribution to sustainability.

Efficiency:

Anyone who has a roof or some unused space can use this to their advantage. Instead of simply letting the sun hit the roof or watching the wind sweep through the garden, this freely available energy can be used without any effort or sold to the network operator.

Freedom:

This aspect relates to the relationship between the household and the electricity provider. Many households find themselves in toggle contracts or suffer from the conditions that were hidden in the small print. In the past 20 years, electricity prices have more than doubled - almost tripled. Unfortunately, if you are not satisfied with your contract or the electricity prices, it is sometimes not that easy to switch.

So if you generate your own electricity, you gain freedom and independence. Generating one's own electricity helps to avoid rising electricity prices and sometimes unpleasant contractual conditions.

With your own electricity you can enjoy television, the use of infrared heating or other household appliances without a guilty conscience. That extra freedom is worth a lot.

You can find out your current electricity consumption and your electricity costs with this calculator.

Electricity price development in recent years:

Money:

This point relates to two important aspects here. On the one hand, you get part of your electricity free of charge and can thus reduce your total electricity costs. You may pay a hefty initial investment when buying a solar system, for example, but in most cases it will pay for itself after just a few years. Even if you rent a solar system, you pay monthly amounts, but these are also less than the profit from electricity generation. The balance is therefore positive.

The second point is the possibility of feeding your electricity into the grid and receiving remuneration for it. If you generate electricity yourself and use less than you generate, you can make money with the surplus. The level of the feed-in tariff is determined by both the state and the demand of the market, so the profits sometimes fluctuate somewhat. Nevertheless, you can earn a nice penny with your own electricity generation.

Should I buy or rent my solar system?

What options are there to generate electricity?

Electricity can be generated from heat (e.g. solar thermal), movement (e.g. wind power), light (e.g. photovoltaics) or chemical energy (e.g. coal). In contrast to the fossil raw materials, which can be both polluting and dangerous, the renewable sources are ideal for generating electricity for yourself. We particularly recommend the following options:

Photovoltaic system

The absolute classic of self-generated electricity is the solar system, which converts the sun's rays into electricity using solar modules on the roof of the house or garage. The word solar system and photovoltaic system are often used synonymously in the vernacular. The stronger the sun shines, the higher the yield of the system. However, it must be noted that the solar modules do not only generate electricity in summer and direct sunlight, but also with low lighting in winter or with diffuse light through the clouds.

Solar systems are preferably installed on the south side of a roof so that as much sunlight as possible is captured. The south-east side or south-west side are also mostly sufficient, however. One of the big arguments in favor of the solar system is that it has developed extremely strongly in the last few decades. The efficiency of a solar cell has multiplied while its cost has steadily decreased. This leap in photovoltaic technology was driven by many researchers around the world. In addition, the solar power produced can now be stored with the help of special solar power storage systems. In most cases, these electricity storage systems are solar batteries or accumulators. Alternatively, the electricity can be fed into the power grid. The households then receive remuneration for this and can thus earn money with unused electricity.

Solar thermal energy through solar collectors

As in photovoltaics, the sun's energy is used here and captured on the roof. However, there are decisive differences in solar thermal systems: On the one hand, instead of solar modules, solar collectors are attached and, on the other hand, no electricity is generated, but hot water. The solar heating collectors contain a water-glycol mixture that is heated by the sun and acts as a heat transfer medium.

The sun's rays heat the collectors, which then give off heat to the water pipes. This is how hot water is generated for the heater, shower or bathroom. Although no electricity is generated here, the effect is similar: heating costs are reduced and the environment is protected. However, electricity costs remain high.

Wind power plant

Not only is the sun a powerful source of energy, the wind also provides plenty of energy every day to generate electricity. Many now probably think of the huge wind turbines that tower over fields and seas. However, this type of wind turbine is not meant here. Because the use of such wind turbines is restricted by numerous regulations and laws, it is unfortunately not so easy to put an industrial wind turbine in the garden.

What we mean is a mini wind turbine (also called a small wind turbine). These work just like the big ones, just not that high, loud and expensive. With a little effort, you can generate the electricity yourself with the help of the wind in your own garden. However, it is very important to check before the installation whether neighbors could be disturbed by the system. A small power plant is only approved for installation if shadows and noise are not a problem.

Furthermore, a potential buyer has to be sure that there is enough wind. If you live in forest areas or in the city, you should rather use the other methods in order to be able to generate electricity yourself.

Cogeneration unit

Traditional heaters work by using oil or gas as fuel to heat water for all of the radiators in the house. This system works well, but this is where the hidden potential is hidden. Heat is also generated in traditional electricity generation. This is a by-product that comes from energy conversion and cannot be avoided.

The idea of ​​the block-type thermal power station is to combine power generation and heating. Instead of heat being generated by electricity providers and then wasted, households generate their own electricity and at the same time use the heat generated to heat their home. Although this system is much more efficient, it also has a disadvantage: block-type thermal power stations are very expensive and only pay off after 4,000 hours of operation per year. We therefore only recommend this option to people who have a very high power consumption or who want to share the power plant with others (e.g. house with many individual apartments).

Which own electricity solution is the best option?

The fact is that there really are a multitude of options if you want to generate your own electricity. If you live in windy areas, get little sun and have no neighbors, trees or buildings around you, we recommend a mini wind turbine. In the remaining cases, however, we recommend a solar system. Because this works all year round, even when there is little sunlight. In addition, it does not disturb your neighbors with noise or shadows. Since it is attached to the roof, it also does not take up any space and therefore remains inconspicuous.

Each of the options here is associated with a high investment. Households usually have to save some money to buy something and take out a loan if necessary. People who cannot afford it or who do not want to pay additional interest in the end do not end up buying an investment.

But now there is an alternative: Enpal offers its customers solar systems for rent. For a small monthly fee, Enpal takes care of installation, maintenance and repairs and the system is insured against disasters and failures for the entire rental period. Should the system actually fail and it would take more than a week before the service team has completely repaired everything, the tenant does not pay any rent for the entire month. At the end of the rental period, the tenants are given the system for a symbolic euro and can continue to use it free of charge for as long as they want.

Would you like to find out whether a PV system is also worthwhile for your house? You can send an inquiry here: