Buildings & Prosumers

Buildings in the EU are responsible for about 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. Decarbonising buildings is therefore crucial to tackle the climate crisis.

Solar is key to powering decarbonised buildings and neighbourhoods. Solar is easily deployed on building roofs with standard solar panels. Solar can also be installed throughout building façades and on heritage listed buildings with the integration of solar cells into construction products, commonly known as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).

Solar-powered buildings can generate renewable electricity to power electric vehicles; the electricity can also be stored, or traded within the local community.

Altogether solar has huge potential to decarbonise our buildings: according to conservative estimates, deploying solar on all suitable rooftops in the EU would meet about 25% of its electricity consumption. However, today only 10% of the EU’s rooftop potential is utilised and BIPV represents only about 3% of all the installed solar capacity in the EU.

Harnessing this potential will require integrating better on-site solar in buildings and renovation policies through the creation of an ambitious and proportionate solar mandate for new, renovated and existing buildings. Financing and funding schemes, including innovative energy as a service models, must be set up to make on-site solar accessible to consumers, particularly those that are more vulnerable.

Furthermore, robust regulatory frameworks must properly value solar kWhs. Self-consumption schemes, both individual and collective, must be properly implemented. They will form the basis for the future decentralised energy system and provide a growth opportunity for EU businesses.

The EU’s on-site solar potential can reach 1300 GWp, up from 110 GWp installed today.

On-site solar is a job creation powerhouse, creating about 80% of the total solar jobs in the EU.

Highly innovative, “made in Europe”, and with strong market prospects, BIPV can become a flagship for the EU industry.

The combination between smart solar and storage allows prosumers to reach a 60% to 90% rate of electricity self-consumption.

The Buildings & Prosumers workstream

The Buildings & Prosumers workstream

The Buildings & Prosumers workstream promotes the development of on-site solar and storage technologies, advocating for an ambitious strategy to decarbonise the EU’s building stock through the deployment of rooftop solar, residential batteries, and smart energy management technologies, with a particular focus on Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. It will advocate for an ambitious and proportionate solar mandate on new, renovated and existing buildings, and its implementation in Member States.

Within the workstream, a group of experts form the BIPV task force which aims to mainstream BIPV products across the EU; create new opportunities for BIPV to be integrated within energy renovations; and support European leadership in BIPV technologies.

The workstream will also promote regulatory and economic models for self-consumption, both individual and collective. In particular, it will promote collective self-consumption schemes and support their implementation in the EU.

Get involved

Join the Buildings & Prosumers workstream.

become a member
Our major accomplishments

Our major accomplishments

Proposals to introduce minimum requirements to use renewable energy in buildings, within the Renovation Wave Strategy and the amendment of the Renewable Energy Directive;.

The promotion of an integrated approach to energy renovation, which combines the integration of renewables in buildings with energy efficiency, as initially proposed by SolarPower Europe;

A commitment from the European Commission to map challenges encountered by BIPV products and consider ways to remove identified barriers, notably by facilitating mutual recognition of national certification and insurance schemes.   

Interview with Sofia Barbosa, chair of workstream

I am very honored to serve as chair of the Buildings and Prosumers Workstream. At Greenvolt we see this as a huge opportunity and responsibility. There is a need to unlock the vast potential of solar energy in buildings, which offers a robust solution to lower electricity bills with minimal environmental impact and increase our energy independence. SolarPower Europe and its members can count on our full commitment and enthusiasm to help drive this agenda which puts the consumer at the heart of the energy transition.

Read the interview
Buildings & Prosumers workstream Chair
Buildings & Prosumers workstream Vice Chair
Members of the Buildings & Prosumers workstream