Solar Buildings

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

Solar will be key to powering decarbonised buildings and neighbourhoods. Solar can be easily deployed on building roofs with standard solar panels. Solar can also be installed throughout building façades and on heritage listed buildings thanks to the integration of PV cells into construction products, commonly known as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). Thanks to solar, building users can generate renewable electricity to power electric vehicles, store it, or trade it within their local community.

On-site solar has a huge potential to decarbonise our buildings, which must be harnessed. 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 used and BIPV represents only about 3% of all the solar installed capacity in the EU.

Through the Solar Buildings workstream, we advocate for alignment between the EU’s energy efficiency and renewable energy frameworks, as well as the massive potential of solar as a cost-effective, technologically proven solution to decarbonise buildings.

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 Solar Buildings workstream

The Solar Buildings workstream

The Solar Buildings workstream promotes the development of on-site solar and storage technologies, advocating or an ambitious strategy to decarbonise the EU’s building stock through the deployment of rooftop solar, residential batteries, and smart energy management technologies.

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 supporting European leadership in BIPV technologies.

The Solar Buildings workstream aims to influence the implementation of the EU’s Renovation Wave Strategy, with a particular focus on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, and the New European Bauhaus initiative.

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Join the Solar Buildings workstream.

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"The market is ready, and actually in need of new PV solutions for cities and the technology is mature. Europe has the opportunity to become the uncontested leader of BIPV worldwide as European players have today the best products on the market."

Alexandra Sombsthay, VP European & International Public Affairs at Akuo Energy and Chair of the Solar Buildings workstream

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 Alexandra Sombsthay, chair of workstream

The Solar Buildings workstream is built and guided by moderators who focus on information related to our theme and make some of the more technical topics more understandable. Thus, it represents a significant timesaver for the companies.

Read the interview
Solar Buildings workstream Chair
Members of the Solar Buildings workstream