German ‘ethical, low carbon’ solar panel range hits Australian market


Sourcing its polysilicon from German company Wacker, 1Komma5° on Monday opened orders on its All Black module in Australia, with APAC CEO Chris Williams telling pv magazine Australia the response has so far been “staggering.”

The All Black modules use TOPCon technology, have an efficiency of 21.5% and come in three power outputs: 415W, 420W, 425W. The Australian warranty will match that in Europe at 25 years for product and 30 years for performance. The company says the range offers 21% carbon dioxide savings per module thanks to its German polysilison supply.

Polysilicon the cause of much controversy in solar manufacturing as forced labour is suspected to be used in its production, which is also an emissions-intensive process. The polysilicon supply chain is today highly concentrated in Xinjiang, China, with Munich-based chemical group Wacker one of the few alternative suppliers.

Prices for the panel range have not been made public, but will undoubtedly fetch a premium for their German design and materials.


When 1Komma5’s solar module range was announced earlier this year, founder Philipp Schröder told pv magazine Australia the company planned to produce 250 MW this year, and was aiming to entirely relocate production to Germany with a target of building its capacity to 5 GW by 2025.

1Komma5, founded in 2021, is aiming to become something of an “Apple store of energy” retailing and installing solar, batteries, electric vehicle chargers, heat pumps and the energy management platform to integrate them into a fully optimised home energy ‘ecosystem.

The German startup is backed by major European entrepreneurs and began aggressively expanding into Australia by October 2022. It did this by acquiring a majority stake in one of Australia’s biggest home solar and battery installation companies, Natural Solar, followed by Solaray Energy in January 2023. 

Having allocated $100 million (USD 67 million) for Australian growth, 1Komma5 APAC CEO and Natural Solar founder, Chris Williams, told pv magazine Australia in March that further acquisitions are on the cards. 

Williams confirmed 1Komma5 and its planned stores will not exclusively sell its own brand of solar panels, saying “we want to sell what Australian customers want.”

1Komma5 will also open its panel brand to outside companies, with Schröder previously saying: “companies that are not part of the group may apply for exclusive regional partnerships to resell both the module and our energy management system Heartbeat in combination with our CRM [customer relationship management software] and working capital tools,” Such an arrangement would allow the startup to grow its reach without the massive capital outlay on acquisitions.

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