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EU Rooftop Solar Standard: Powering Solar Energy for 56 Million Homes

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, has been published in the Official Journal of the EU. The effective execution of the EU Rooftop Solar Standard within the directive could potentially provide solar energy for the equivalent of 56 million European homes.

An initial assessment by SolarPower Europe indicates that the EPBD could catalyze the installation of 150 to 200 GW of rooftop solar in the coming years, harnessing the untapped potential of rooftops across the EU. This projection assumes that 60% of public buildings are viable for solar integration and fall within the purview of the EU Solar Rooftop Standard. The EPBD is poised to unlock the immense rooftop potential, previously estimated at 560 GW by the EU Joint Research Centre earlier this year.


Under the new legislation, all new constructions must incorporate solar-ready features, simplifying and enhancing the attractiveness of solar integration. Bloomberg NEF highlights that proactive solar standards, akin to those observed in certain EU nations, can elevate return on investment by 8 to 11% compared to retroactive installations. Moreover, the Solar Standard aims to broaden accessibility, mitigating hurdles to solar adoption in multi-apartment buildings.


The EU Solar Rooftop Standard is slated to cover new non-residential and public buildings starting in 2027, existing non-residential buildings undergoing substantial renovations by 2028, new residential constructions from 2030 onwards, and all appropriate existing public buildings by 2031. This standard is expected to unleash the potential of expansive rooftops found atop offices, commercial buildings, and parking facilities, while some structures like agricultural and historic buildings may be exempted.


Jan Osenberg, Senior Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe said, “Like the essential integration of smoke detections years ago, this new law propels rooftop solar toward becoming the standard. More buildings, businesses, and citizens will have access to clean, renewable, economical solar energy.Rooftop PV needs to be the gateway to smart electrification. Solar-powered heating and cars will reduce the costs of sustainable homes. Smart pairing of rooftop solar with EVs and heat pumps will also reduce the impact on the grid, and even provide direct support to the grid by providing flexibility services at times of grid stress. This will require removing the bottlenecks to electrification and ensuring grid operators can tap into this flexibility potential.”


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