Embrace ‘solar skins’ to decarbonise cities, Europe told

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Building-integrated PV moves like Stockholm's Stacken complex remains a largely untapped opportunity, the report said (Credit: Kollektivhuset Stacken)

Widespread adoption of so-called solar skins would help decarbonise European cities and lessen the need for expensive grid upgrades, experts have said.

A PV roll-out on rooftops but also façades and windows would see the continent lower the footprint of buildings that account for 36% of EU-wide CO2 emissions, according to SolarPower Europe (SPE) and the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV).

Their new, joint report noted that only 24% of the energy used by Europe’s buildings is renewable. At current growth rates, the building-integrated PV (BIPV) market in EU27 countries, Switzerland and Norway will only reach an “insignificant” 5GW by 2030, the paper said.

According to the analysis, municipalities covering constructions with PV – as Brussels did with the Treurenberg building and Stockholm with Kollektivhuset Stacken – will help make the grid more stable and resilient and bring passive benefits, such as better thermal and acoustic insulation.

The paper acknowledged challenges loom over BIPV uptake, not least the fact that public finance alone cannot fuel building renovations with the required speed. Bringing annual overhaul rates from today’s 1% to 3% in line with EU’s climate goals will demand private capital, the study said.

Investment, SPE and ETIP PV argued, can be unlocked via power purchase agreements (PPAs), time-based lease contracts or the approach known as energy performance contracting. Greater adoption will also require increasing awareness of BIPV’s benefits, the study added.

France ramps up support to self-consumption

The calls to foster the BIPV segment come at a time of change for EU politics. MEPs elected last month are currently negotiating who will head up the new European Commission cabinet, which will be key in spearheading renewable policies over the next five years.

Having adopted sweeping clean energy legislation in the past term, EU policymakers have now turned to implementation. The current focus lies on climate and energy plans tabled by countries, whose ambition the Commission is presently scrutinising.

Represented by SPE, the PV industry has for months campaigned for a far-reaching EU industrial policy, including a 20%-by-2030 target for solar. On the upstream front, France has offered to lead a comeback of European PV manufacturing, vastly outcompeted by Asian rivals.

In parallel, Paris has worked to boost its downstream solar market via auctions. Only this week, Environment minister François de Rugy confirmed up to 25MW of renewable self-consumption projects will be provided subsidies under a tender.

The auction, the sixth of a 450MW programme, is scheduled for September and open to schemes in the 100-1,000kW capacity range. It is meant to help France reach its goal to deploy 100,000 PV-powered self-consumption projects by 2023.

See here for SPE/ETIP PV’s new report and here for France’s self-consumption tender

7 September 2022
The demand for rooftop solar PV is soaring, driven by falling costs of the technology against energy crises that are gripping countries globally. But while an increasing number of households turn to solar to generate their own electricity, there is now a need for more specialist equipment, technologies and services to ensure the solar transition can reach as many customers as possible. Delivering these is now a major challenge for rooftop solar installers. This webinar will analyse the characteristics of the rooftop solar market, discussing how the products, logistics, installation and servicing of solar systems has evolved in line with consumer demands.
14 September 2022
Join us in London for 2 days as we look at the UK’s new landscape for utility & rooftop solar. Understand the new opportunities within this GW-plus annual market!
29 November 2022
PV ModuleTech EMEA in Madrid on 29-30 November 2022 will address the factors underpinning the changing PV module landscape, gathering together all the key stakeholders across the value-chain from module production to field testing. Join us for presentations from the leading players in the sector, clearly identifying the opportunities and challenges set to impact module supply to Europe and the Middle-East over the next few years.

Read Next

August 11, 2022
Finlay Colville, Solar Media's head of market research, lays out the UK's path to achieving 40GW+ of solar PV by 2030 after rebounding from recent headwinds in its solar sector
PV Tech Premium
August 4, 2022
PV Tech Premium unpicks South Africa's recently unveiled policy measures aimed at tackling the country's energy crisis and boosting renewables deployment.
August 2, 2022
The building-integrated PV (BIPV) market is expected to reach US$94.4 billion by 2031, up from US$11.7 billion recorded in 2021.
August 1, 2022
India installed more than 12GW of solar PV in the financial year 2022 (FY2022) but this is expected to soar to more than 20GW in FY2023 as the country looks to accelerate its solar deployment, according to JMK Research.
July 29, 2022
Residential installer Sunnova continues to reduce its net loss while recording its best quarter in terms of sales during the second quarter.
July 27, 2022
European countries need to double the pace of solar PV installations if the continent is to keep pace with its climate commitments, new research from Ember has revealed.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event