Energy performance of buildings: photovoltaic systems to become a standard product in new buildings

[για μετάφραση, αν απαιτείται, κλικ στην ελληνική σημαία στην πλαϊνή στήλη]
Brussels, Monday 7 December 2009

Today, at the Energy Council the Swedish Presidency was congratulated for the agreement reached on the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Any new European building will have to be “nearly zero energy” by 2020, meaning that a very large share of energy consumption will be provided by renewable energy. Solar photovoltaic technologies are amongst the best suited to be integrated in buildings. However no target has been set for existing buildings which currently represent about 99% of the building stock.
EPIA hopes that the new EPBD will ensure a strong boost for on-site renewable energy sources (RES) like photovoltaics (PV), which as a decentralized and sustainable energy technology is easy and quick to install in housing and has the ability to provide a significant share of the household and commercial energy demand. The threshold of 1000 m2 present in the previous EPBD has now been removed, opening possibilities to improve the energy performance for all sizes of edifices.
The new directive stipulates that “the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should to a very significant extent be covered by energy coming from renewable sources, including renewable energy produced on-site or nearby”. EPIA recommends that when transposing the directive in the national law, EU member states should focus on developing the potential of “on-site” RES, which can turn energy consuming buildings into more energy independent even autonomous or positive energy buildings.
For existing buildings, using alternative systems, such as RES is encouraged; EPIA believes this constitutes progress but still not enough, as existing buildings currently represent 99% of the building stock. Therefore Member States should be more ambitious and propose a concrete target for this major segment of the market when transposing the law.
“If well implemented by the 27 EU countries, this new piece of legislation will be essential to meet the target set by EPIA to reach 12% of Europe’s electricity demand by 2020 with photovoltaic energy” commented Eleni Despotou, EPIA Policy Director.
Photovoltaic technology can be integrated in many ways in buildings either on the roof (e.g. by replacing the tiles), on external building walls, as semi-transparent façades (inside the glass), as shading element or skylight (semi transparent roof).
For more information on how to integrate PV in buildings see the publication: Building integrated photovoltaics.

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