In 1987, the Tour de Sol for the first time, introduced the category "grid interconnection”. At the expert meeting, Winfried Blum pointed out that this category with "half a dozen participants in 1987” is getting more and more interest”.3 Many tour participants had a positive attitude towards the new category; others were still skeptic. The ecological center Langenbruck—founded by emeritus Prof. Pierre Fornallazb—had been fiddling with solarcars and grid interconnection already in 1986 and experimented with it at the aWinfried Blum, engineer and editor of the Swiss Association of Power Plants (VSE); "Solarcars in everyday life”, edition 2, January 1988, was regarded with skepticism within the solar scene, because the interest in an efficient electric drive understandably was still bigger than in the substitution of nuclear power plants by photovoltaic installations.
bProf. Pierre Fornallaz vs ETH: In 1974, many years before his early retirement in 1981, Prof. Pierre Fornallaz, co-founder of the Societe Suisse pour 1’Energie Solaire (SSES) proposed an installation of solar cells on the roof of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). The institute declined the proposal and justified its decision with the remark that solar energy was too expensive. Fornallaz: ‘This justification was wrong then and is still wrong today”. Also today, 30 years later, the students of the Federal Institute of Technology are still waiting for incentives of their institute for a sustainable use of energy. The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has a professorship for nuclear energy, but 30 years after the solar intervention of Prof. Fornallaz it still does not have a professorship for solar energy.
Tour de Sol. The explanation was simple and technically convincing: If solar panels are integrated in a building and are optimally facing south, they have a bigger output than those installed on solarcars. Theo Blattler, director of the power station of Burgdorf (EWB), canton Berne, was commissioned in 1987 to write a report about the use of solar energy.3 In 1988, he handed in an extensive report to the City Council of Burgdorf proposing solar energy feed-in. Subsequently, the power station of Burgdorf paid 1 CHF (0.75€ cts) for each kWh that was fed-in. By doing so, the solarcars were able to get the solar energy from the grid at night and to drive with 100% solar energy during the day. Since the solar feed-in took place during the day—when the energy need is biggest—and the batteries were loaded at night, the solar feed-in had a compensative, countercyclical effect.