On 23 May, SolarPower Europe hosted members of SolarPower Europe’s Buildings & Prosumers Workstream, at our offices in Brussels, for a Rooftop PV Strategy Day, joined by European Commission representatives from the Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER).
The strategy day brought together our members working on making buildings solar - including key installers in the residential and C&I segments, manufacturers, research institutes, and National Solar Associations. During the day, our members shared ideas on the strategic outlook for rooftop solar, and exchanged viewpoints on the key barriers to rooftop solar deployment.
To start the day, we looked at the current political framework for rooftop PV, and how this has improved in recent months. This legislative cycle brought important changes to rooftop solar with the EU Solar Strategy and a Solar Rooftop Initiative proposal, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Renewable Energy Directive, and the Electricity Market Design. In addition, the emergency REs booster EU regulation will simplify permitting for renewable energy projects such as solar located on rooftops or integrated on buildings.
During our first session, we had presentations from European Commission representatives Ignacio Asenjo on the European Solar Rooftop Initiative, and Achille Hannoset on energy sharing. Notably, Ignacio highlighted that the next Commission will have to prioritise grids.
Achille Hannoset elaborated on the energy sharing proposals included as part of the Commission’s revision of the Electricity Market Design. He emphasised that the purpose of the proposals was to “give consumers direct access to renewables, what better way to hedge the energy crisis than to have solar PV on your rooftop...”
Following this, discussions focused on our National Energy and Climate Plan (NECPs) priorities. Here, we heard a presentation on market trends on distributed energy resource (DER) deployment from Saif Islam, a Senior Consultant with EUPD Research. Afterwards, our Buildings and Prosumers Workstream Chair, Sofia Pinto Barbosa from the Greenvolt Group, shared the company's best practices from their energy sharing model. She highlighted how their energy sharing model allows clients to have economic benefit from surplus energy produced. We concluded our first workshop with a presentation from Daniele Agostini, Head of Energy and Climate Policies in European Affairs, at the Enel Group, on building electrification and improving storage and flexibility. Specifically, Daniele examined the main barriers at the national and EU level for electrifying buildings. These include: poor economic indicators; lack of access to finance; infrastructure; administrative red tape; integration challenges; and information gaps.
After a lively discussion, we moved on to our second workshop, looking at the implementation stage of the EU solar rooftop standard under the EPBD. We first had an online presentation from Dr. David Tudiwer, Directorate Construction and Technology, for the City of Vienna. During his speaking time, he discussed the Vienna Solar Energy Initiative, and the city’s PV obligation for residential and non-residential buildings. Afterwards, Elisabeth Hoffmann, Head of EU Affairs, of VELUX, and a member of EuroACE, presented on buildings’ energy efficiency and the importance of sequencing when installing PV sytems. We also heard presentations from stakeholders on building integrated PV. Our second workshop ended with a brainstorming group session.
After lunch, we held our third workshop on fire safety and the insurability of rooftop solar. Research shows that fires develop differently on buildings with solar than on buildings without. Stakeholders are currently assessing the impact of this development. During the workshop, we took stock of the different approaches from relevant fire safety stakeholders. We heard from SolarPower Europe members SolarEdge and the German Solar Industry Association (BSW), insurance companies, and firefighters. Subsequently, we held an open discussion on solving safety issues, and identifying potential solutions.
During our last workshop, we took a deep-dive into C&I barriers and solutions, covering costs and technology developments with María Colom Cifuentes from Engie; Kahya Engler from Sunrock; and SolarPower Europe’s Senior Technical Grids Expert, Catarina Augusto. Following this, our Senior Policy Advisor Jonathan Bonadio led breakout discussions where each group had to identify three issues/problems and 3 solutions for rooftop PV.
Thanks to all who joined for a productive day of fruitful discussions. It’s now time to make our rooftop solar dream a reality!
Make sure to also listen to our latest Policycast episode on the EPBD, and find out what it means for the EU solar sector.