In Germany, renewable energy sources are becoming extremely popular. Due to the government’s pro – ecological activities, more and more are opting for the installation of domestic photovoltaic systems.
Many entrepreneurs from the European Union are considering the possibility of operating in Germany. This is made possible primarily by the principle of freedom to provide services, which is one of the fundamental principles in the European Union.
Who can conduct business related to the installation of photovoltaic panels in Germany? As mentioned in the introduction, in principle, anyone with a registered business in the European Union can provide services in Germany, such as the installation of photovoltaic panels for a provelbal “Mueller”. However, there are a number of regulations that need to be taken into account when considering starting a business in the photovoltaic industry in Germany. The requirements relate to the following issues:
Certification of Photovoltaic Panels in Germany, the most popular safety indicator is the DIN ( Deutsche Industrie Norm ), Photovoltaic installations need to meet specific standards in the following categories:
- Performance and power tolerance: The DIN standard sets minimum requirements for the performance of photovoltaic panels. The nominal power of the panels must match the manufacturer’s declaration, and the power tolerance should not exceed a certain percentage range. This means that panels should have a minimum efficiency consistent with the values provided by the manufacturer.
- Durability and resistance to weather conditions: The DNI standard also includes requirements concerning the durability and resistance of photovoltaic panels to weather conditions. Panels should be resistant to moisture, water, temperature, changes, corrosion, and UV radiation. Panels should also undergo appropriate tests, such as tests for mechanical overloads, vibration and structural strength.
- Electrical safety: Electrical safety is a crucial aspect of photovoltaic panels. The DIN standard requires panels to meet specific electrical safety standards, such a protection against electric shock, resistance to lightning strikes and protection against short – circuiting. Additionally, panels should be designed and manufactured in accordance with electrical safety standards.
- Fire resistance and fire safety: The DNI standard also specifies requirements for the fire resistance and fire safety of photovoltaic panels. Panels should have the appropriate fire resistance class and be resistant to the spread of fire. Moreover, they should comply with regulations concerning the installation of photovoltaic panels in buildings to ensure the safety of users and firefighters in case of fire.
The most popular DIN standard specifically related to photovoltaic panels is DIN E 62446 or VDE0100 standard. Photovoltaic panels introduced into circulation in Germany must also meet the VDE 0126 standards and additionally comply with the provisions of the WEEE2/2012/19/UE Directive of July 4, 2012, on waste electrical and electronics equipment.
Requirements for Employees Involved in Panel Installation: In the photovoltaic industry, qualifications related to the profession of an electrician are undoubtedly necessary. It is these qualifications that enable the independent connection of photovoltaic panels to the grid, which is undoubtedly a critical element of the installation process.
Unfortunately, having electrical qualifications, for example SEP 9 ( in Poland ) issued in Poland is not sufficient to be recognized in Germany. The profession of an electrician is a regulated profession in Germany and is subject to entry into the HWK, the German Chamber of Crafts. Therefore, if you intend to conduct activities related to the installation of photovoltaic panels in Germany in the relevant Chamber for the first order obtained in Germany. However, to do this, the recognition of qualifications, called Anerkennung is necessary. It involves comparing the qualifications and professional experience held by the competent German authority with the requirements in Germany. The procedure takes up to 3 months and is conducted by the appropriate authority that recognizes qualifications in a given state (land) of Germany.
If a legal entity applies for registration with Handwerkskammer (Chamber of Crafts), it must designate a person with qualifications. Typically, this will be a member of the board or a technical Betriebsleiter, i.e. a technical manager with a master’s qualification or and equivalent due to experience and acquired knowledge.
It is worth mentioning that installing photovoltaic panels may require other additional qualifications, such as working at heights.
A company intending to provide installation services for panels in Germany from the position of a Polish company should also have documented business activity in Poland for at least 12 months during the last 10 years before registration.
Connection to the Electrical Grid Connection to the grid of the grid operator can only be carried out by a person who possesses the appropriate qualifications and is registered on a special list. Most electricity providers have a list of electricians who can inspect photovoltaic installations. However, it may happen that operators agree to the inspections by an electrician not listed if they hold the necessary certification. Nevertheless, tis is a very rare practice and occurs in individual cases.
Industry Affiliation – Elektrohandwerk Finally, it is worth mentioning the employer’s obligations arising from the qualifications of their company in a specific industry. Companies involved in the installation of photovoltaic panels usually belong to two industries – the electrical engineering industry and the construction industry. Affiliation with a specific industry depends on the type of work performed by the company. Let’s focus, however, on entrepreneurs engaged in the installation of residential installations.
Affiliation with a particular industry entails subsequent compliance with relevant industry labor law regulations. In the case of installing residential photovoltaic installations, the entrepreneur will be required to register with Elektrohandwerk. However, this is often an individual matter related to the specific methodology of each entrepreneur and requires thorough analysis.
An entrepreneur deciding to establish a GmbH company in Germany may encounter additional obligations not mentioned in this article. In reality, many requirements may depend on the chosen form of business.
If, as an entrepreneur, you feel overwhelmed by the complexity of industry regulations and are unsure about the obligations you must fulfill when entering the German market, we encourage you to contact us. We would be happy to discuss new possibilities and perspectives for your business.