Off with Solar: Öcher's Solar Initiative

Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

© Stadt Aachen/Andreas Herrmann

“Aachen should be climate-neutral by 2030 at the latest, the Aachen City Council decided on January 22, 2020. And every year, almost 77,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) are to be saved,” explains Maria Vankann, the city’s climate protection officer. To achieve this goal, the city of Aachen launched the Öcher Solar Support Program in September 2020, providing subsidies and consulting services. In March, the city doubled down with the Öcher Solar campaign. It aims to motivate as many homeowners as possible, both households and businesses, to install a photovoltaic or solar thermal system on their roof. Together, the city administration, companies and citizens can thus make a major contribution to climate protection.

“We have decided to act in a climate-neutral way from 2030. To achieve this, we need to use solar energy wherever possible,” explains Climate Protection and Environmental Officer Dr. Markus Kremer.

Facts and Data

  • It turns out the potential for solar energy in Aachen is relatively high. According to its solar roof cadastre, it boasts a roof area of 245 hectares (490 soccer fields) to support solar energy systems. These, in turn, would generate more energy than is required to meet the total electricity demand of the residents (394 GWh for 149,000 households).
  • The city is actively subdizing the development of a quarter of this potential by 2030, potentially avoiding 6,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year or 8% of the annual CO2 reduction target.
  • Since the solar subsidy program was launched in September 2020, 150 systems have been subsidized by the city. Another 1,000 installations are slated to be approved this year. Grants are available for new installations of photovoltaic (PV) systems for electricity generation, as well as solar thermal systems for water heating.
  • City officials are leading by example: the city aims to cover 52% of its own total municipal electricity consumption of 24 GWh with solar power from 156 new photovoltaic (PV) systems in the future.

Start of Öcher Solar Support Program:
September 2020

Start of Öcher Solar Campaign:

Project Website

If all of Germany’s households switched to electricity derived from clean energy sources, such as solar, German Overshoot Day would move back 10 days.

German Overshoot Day is far too early. Together we can #MoveTheDate. This project supports urban actors in finding solutions which create the future they desire.

The project is lead by the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) of Wuppertal and Global Footprint Network and financed by Stiftung Mercator.

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