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Solar PV roofs could generate 40% of EU electricity demand

More than 1.5 TWp of solar photovoltaics (PV) could be installed on European roofs producing 1400 TWh, or 40% of EU’s electricity demand by 2020, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).

With a total ground floor area over 22,000 km2, 40% of all building roofs and 15% of all facades in EU 27 are suited for solar PV applications, EPIA says

The integration of solar PV energy in buildings provides an enormous development potential for the PV industry as well as for the construction sector.

Solar PV applications, apart from contributing to the generation of electricity and improving the passive energy behaviour of buildings, can replace conventional building components and also provide different functions such as, water tightening, weather protection, heat insulation, light modifications, etc, EPIA says.

BIPV potential in Europe

“Spain has a unique opportunity to develop the BIPV market, which in addition to leveraging the decentralised nature of PV generation - energy generated by the citizen for the citizen -, would enable the stimulation of tens of thousands of jobs firmly anchored in the local economy, many of which in the construction industry”, says Virgilio Navarro, EPIA’s Vice-president and CEO of ATERSA.

Currently in some European countries the BIPV market is driven by specific support schemes, designed in such a way that BIPV systems are rewarded with a higher tariff per kWh generated than for building adapted PV (BAPV), where the solar PV modules are installed on top of the existing building structure and do not provide any additional function.

In France and Italy BIPV already represents over one third of the annual market. In other countries such as Germany and Spain, where support schemes are not differentiated between both types of systems, BIPV only represents a very marginal share of the market (<1%) representing mainly niche applications where cost is not an issue.

“It is essential to put in place favourable conditions across Europe that will support a wide deployment of BIPV applications, which will have a major impact in the future development of buildings in Europe. From 2012 onwards all Member States will need to adopt the recently approved Energy Performance of Building directive (EPBD) establishing that by 2020, all new building will need to be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings. Solar Photovoltaics, will be a key technology enabling to reach such an ambitious and crucial objective” adds Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of EPIA

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Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)

 

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