City of Berlin plans to install solar on all new buildings

Any future urban building in the German capital will incorporate solar rooftops, making solar energy the norm. Older buildings will also be retrofitted with solar PV systems, and a new energy standard is foreseen, to be enshrined in federal law.

Last week, the Berlin Senate’s Economic and Energy committee held a vote, pending final approval by the house of representatives (Abgeordnetenhouse) at the end of June: as of 2023, any new buildings and significant rooftop renovations will include mandatory solar PV, both for residential and non-residential buildings. This program is expected to turn 30% of all Berlin roofs into solar roofs. According to the Fraunhofer ISE, within the first five years of the program, this ruling could save approximately 37 000 tonnes of CO2 every year. In total, solar power production in Berlin is expected to increase forty times over.

“Berlin is showing the right climate ambition by voting to ensure new and renovated building roofs include solar. Legislation to deploy solar PV on buildings are a powerful tool to drive building decarbonisation and we are seeing more and more examples of regional and local authorities opting for mandatory solar roofs to help reduce CO2 emissions. The upcoming revision of the Renewable Energy Directive II and the Energy Performance of Buildings will be key to ensure the same ambition is replicated across the EU, ensuring buildings can fully contribute to the objectives of the Energy System Integration and Renovation Wave strategies” said Miguel Herrero, Coordinator of the Solar Buildings Workstream at SolarPower Europe.

Berlin is well on its way for its “Solar City” plan. A set of measures is planned to accelerate the expansion of solar, with the goal of achieving 4.4 GW of solar PV, covering a quarter of Berlin’s electricity demand. Originally the goal was to achieve this figure by 2050, but currently the Senate is reconsidering to aim for success “as soon as possible”.

photo credit: IMAGO / PHOTOTHEK

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