From costs to yields

Solar integrations are profitable investments. The reasons for this are, firstly, that the additional investments compared to conventional building envelopes represent a fraction of the total project costs. Secondly, solar building envelopes generate yields and amortise within a few years. In the period after that, they generate earnings and become profitable power plants. Two examples.

Workshop with 10 employees

Location: Lausanne


Orientation: west


System: NICER roof-integrated system


Module type: glass-film, with frame


Colour: deep black


Surface: 300 m2


Power: 52.8 kWp


Annual yield: 51'000 kWh


Gross investment incl. VAT:
CHF 108'000


Substitution conventional roof:
CHF 23'000


Net investment: CHF 85'000


One-off grant1: CHF 19'552


Return2: 6.2%


Break even: 15 years


Profit over lifespan:
CHF 111'000


Office building with 20 employees

Location: Zurich


Orientation: east


System: FAST facade system


Module type: glass-glass, frameless


Colour: slate grey


Surface: 500 m2


Power: 75.0 kWp


Annual yield: 40'000 kWh


Gross investment incl. VAT:
CHF 371'000


Substitution glass facade:
CHF 297'000


Net investment: CHF 74'000


One-off grant1: CHF 27'100


Return2: 11.5%


Break even: 8 years


Profit over lifespan:
CHF 231'000


1 One-off grant
The one-off grant is a subsidy model for solar systems by the Swiss federal government. It covers around a third of the investment. Additional contributions from the buildings programme for energy-efficient renovation are not yet included.

2 Rate of return
Yields and returns are project-specific and depend on factors such as irradiance values, project design and development of electricity prices. They take into account inflation, capital costs, discounting, tax benefits and reinvestments. Customized profitability studies can be provided upon request.