Renewables

EU Solar Rooftop Standard could initiate installation of 150 GW to 200 GW of rooftop PV

eu solar rooftop standard directive epbd

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May 9, 2024

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Published:

May 9, 2024

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The application of the European Union’s Solar Rooftop Standard could initiate the installation of 150 GW to 200 GW of rooftop photovoltaics, according to SolarPower Europe. It is part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which entered into force yesterday. Member states now have two years to transpose the law into national legislation.

Successful implementation of the EU Rooftop Solar Standard under the Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD) could solar power the equivalent of 56 million European homes, SolarPower Europe said.

The new directive mandates that all new buildings be solar-ready, making it more straightforward and appealing to seek solar, the organization added.

The EU Solar Rooftop Standard applies to new non-residential and public buildings from 2027, existing non-residential buildings undergoing major renovations by 2028, to new residential structures from 2030 and all suitable existing public buildings by 2031.

Total rooftop solar capacity in Europe is expected to grow to 355 GW by the end of 2027

“The standard will, most importantly, unlock the potential of large rooftops such as those installed on offices, commercial buildings, or car parks. Certain buildings such as agricultural and historic structures may be excluded”, the association stressed.

Results of a preliminary analysis conducted by SolarPower Europe suggest that the EPBD could drive the installation of 150 GW to 200 GW of rooftop solar in the EU between 2026 and 2030. The assumption was that 60% of public buildings are suitable and fall under the scope of the Solar Rooftop Standard.

Association expects that the EPBD would tap into the vast potential of rooftops, estimated at 560 GW by the EU Joint Research Centre earlier this year.

Total rooftop solar capacity in Europe stood at more than 170 GW at the end of 2023 while it is expected to grow to 355 GW by the end of 2027, SolarPower Europe said.

Osenberg: The gateway to smart electrification

“Like the essential integration of smoke detections years ago, this new law propels rooftop solar toward becoming the standard. More buildings, businesses, and citizens will have access to clean, renewable, economical solar energy,” said Jan Osenberg, Senior Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe.

Rooftop PV, in his words, needs to be the gateway to smart electrification.

Opportunity for local governments to lower electricity bills

“Solar-powered heating and cars will reduce the costs of sustainable homes. Smart pairing of rooftop solar with EVs and heat pumps will also reduce the impact on the grid, and even provide direct support to the grid by providing flexibility services at times of grid stress. This will require removing the bottlenecks to electrification and ensuring grid operators can tap into this flexibility potential,” Osenberg stressed.

According to the organization, public authorities like local governments, and the buildings they manage – like hospitals and schools – will be particularly empowered by the standard, unlocking the potential to slash electricity bills while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The legislation acts as a local employment engine, with two to seven times more workers employed in the solar industry than other primary renewables sectors, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), SolarPower Europe pointed out.

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