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EU Strategy Day for Solar Buildings

On February 21st, SolarPower Europe's members from the Buildings & Prosumers Workstream, including manufacturers, research institutes, associations, and representatives from the European Commission, gathered in Brussels for the EU Building Strategy Day project, co-organized with the SEAMLESS-PV Project. Together, we delved into the latest developments in Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and formulated a strategic outlook for the BIPV market.

 

Despite the start of the implementation of the new EU Solar Standard in 9 EU member states and the remarkable growth of rooftop solar with over 60% market share in 2023, BIPV deployment remains extremely limited, constituting only around 1% market share.


Maria GETSIOU, a senior expert in the Renewable Energy Sources Unit of the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation, underscored the urgent need to unlock the competitive potential of European BIPV manufacturing. This involves transforming it into an opportunity for manufacturing in Europe by striking a balance between mass production for standard products and full customization for tailor-made products


Throughout the insightful discussions of the entire strategy day, several barriers emerged that need to be addressed. Firstly, there is an immediate need for a significant scale-up and capacity increase of BIPV in Europe. Secondly, it is crucial for BIPV production capacity to become widely available and affordable, establishing an integrated EU BIPV value chain that aligns with the needs of the construction and solar industries, while enhancing resilience and competitiveness for a "Made in Europe" BIPV industry. Thirdly, there is a demand for qualified professionals to embrace this new interdisciplinary challenge across Europe, covering the design to operation of solar buildings. In this context, the SEAMLESS-PV project is expected to set up multilevel strategies in the 2024-2026 timeframe, connecting existing platforms at the EU level, establishing training courses and events bridging the gap between the construction and BIPV sectors.

 

European Commissioner Ignacio Asenjo from DG ENER provided an overview of BIPV in the EU legislative and strategy cycle for solar energy, touching upon Repower EU, the NZIA, NCEPs, and anticipated the Commission's efforts to provide guidance to member states, helping them overcome existing regulatory barriers hindering the deployment of BIPV, as well as other dual-use PV applications like Agri PV and Floating PV, moving beyond the binary approach to ground-based and rooftop installations.

 

SolarPower Europe R&I manager Thomas Garabetian presented the Increase project, discussing stakeholder engagement as a core tenet of BIPV market integration and cross-sectoral cooperation. He highlighted Increase's focus on the value chain and stressed the need for a cultural shift as BIPV still faces challenges in acceptance due to perceived high costs. One of the key goals of the Increase project is to change the narrative and make BIPV a standard, affordable component in building design.



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