The Swedish Presidency has been congratulated for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). This instruction outlines that any new European building will have to be “nearly zero energy” by the year 2020, meaning a far greater uptake in renewable energy will be seen over the coming years.
The Energy Council met on December 7, 2009 to recognize the achievement, which is expected to increase the building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) market by a significant amount, as PV is among the best-suited technology for building integration.
The European Photovoltaics Industry Association (EPIA) hopes that the new EPBD will ensure a strong boost for on-site PV, which as a decentralized and sustainable energy technology is easy and quick to install in housing and has the ability to provide a significant share of the household and commercial energy demand. It is this on-site element of the directive that EPIA believes should be concentrated on when transposing the law. The 1000m2 threshold in the previous EPBD has now been removed, opening possibilities to improve the energy performance for all sizes of edifices.
The new directive stipulates that, “nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should, to a very significant extent, be covered by energy coming from renewable sources, including renewable energy produced on-site or nearby.”
“If well implemented by the 27 EU countries, this new piece of legislation will be essential to meet the target set by EPIA to reach 12% of Europe’s electricity demand by 2020 with photovoltaic energy,” said Eleni Despotou, EPIA policy director.
No target however, has been set for existing buildings, yet they currently represent 99% of the building stock. While renewable energy sources are becoming more important in existing builds, EPIA believes that this is not enough. The Association states that Member States should be more ambitious and propose a concrete target for this major segment of the market when transposing the law.