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EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive Boosts Rooftop Solar Expansion

Today marks a significant milestone as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) officially enters into force with its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. This directive is set to drive the adoption of rooftop solar across Europe, potentially powering the equivalent of 56 million European homes.

A preliminary analysis conducted by SolarPower Europe suggests that the EPBD could spur the installation of 150 to 200 GW of rooftop solar in the coming years, leveraging the vast potential of EU rooftops. Under this directive, all new buildings will be mandated to be solar-ready, streamlining the process and making solar adoption more accessible.

Jan Osenberg, Senior Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe, commented on the significance of this new law, likening it to the essential integration of smoke detectors in years past. The mandate for solar-ready buildings is expected to simplify and incentivize solar adoption, boosting return on investment by 8 to 11% compared to retroactive installations.

The EU Solar Rooftop Standard, a key component of the EPBD, applies to various building types and will gradually come into effect over the next decade. It aims to unlock the potential of large rooftops, such as those on offices, commercial buildings, and car parks, while also addressing obstacles to solar adoption in multi-apartment buildings.

Furthermore, the Solar Standard is poised to empower public authorities and local governments, enabling them to slash electricity bills and reduce reliance on fossil fuels in buildings like hospitals and schools. It is also expected to stimulate local employment, with the solar industry employing more workers compared to other primary renewable sectors.

EU Member States now have two years to transpose the EPBD into national legislation, defining details and exemptions. This directive signals a pivotal step towards a more sustainable and solar-powered future for Europe, aligning with efforts to combat climate change and enhance energy efficiency.


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