Solar energy dedicated to self-consumption is a movement that is gaining momentum. Lidl once again intends to shake up the market by offering a quality product at a knockdown price. A release that is making noise throughout Europe and arousing a lot of interest.
Lidl has already proven to us that it knows how to be a buzz champion. Thus, after the food processor at a bargain price, a fashion collection that has been torn off and is still resold at a high price, here is the German distributor launching a solar panel kit for self-consumption at 199 euros. Where the market generally starts at more than 600 euros.
A complete offer
The Parksid PBKW 300 A1 Smart takes the form of a kit to be mounted and then installed on a balcony railing. To hang it on a wall or put it on the ground, you will have to use your handyman skills.
It consists of a photovoltaic panel of 107 x 77.5 x 3.5 cm (aluminum frame included) for 8.9 kg.
Lidl offers a 3-year warranty for the kit, 10 years for the panels and the processing equipment. The advertised efficiency of the panels is 20% and they should retain 80% of their energy efficiency after 25 years. On paper, we can consider that you will need 6 to 8 years to amortize it in France against 6 in Germany.
A questionable micro-inverter
The panels, whose origin is not specified, seem according to the first returns to benefit from a very honorable manufacturing quality, but the Plug&Play aspect is a little oversold. The micro-inverter, to be fixed on the frame of the panel, is equipped with Wi-Fi and is IP65 certified. This allows via the Lidl Home application to configure the network connection of the inverter to access all of its statistics.
It would seem that this micro-inverter does not fully comply with French legislation in terms of certain certifications related to the ENEDIS distributor. However, with a power of 150 Wp, this should not cause any real problems in use, but should be noted. One of the most frequent feedback from German customers mainly concerns its quality, which seems very entry-level.
An enticing and nuanced offer
This offer is very attractive on paper, but several points need to be qualified. Thus, the production power is 150 Wp and if you buy a second one to be mounted in series, you will reach 300 Wp for a total of 398 euros. However, there are alternatives at equivalent prices, between 350 and 450 euros, and offering a power of 300 Wp to 350 Wp.
Nevertheless, it is a product that has sold like hot cakes in Germany, where the price of electricity is around 10 cents more per kWh. We do not yet know if this offer will be offered elsewhere in Europe and in particular in France. Anyway, the price will be higher, because the compliance of the inverter will have a cost and, above all, across the Rhine, solar panels are not subject to VAT. In France, it will therefore be necessary to apply the 20% VAT and writing this sentence in this period of ecological transition seems really absurd to us.
A product that still needs to be closely monitored, because despite its flaws, it is a first product and it can give rise to healthy vocations as a producer of green energy.