The EU Solar Rooftop standard can trigger the installation of rooftop photovoltaics with a capacity of 150 to 200 MW

According to SolarPower Europe, the application of the EU Solar Rooftop standard can trigger the installation of rooftop photovoltaics with a capacity of 150 GW to 200 GW. This 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 of Buildings Directive (EPBD) could provide solar energy equivalent to 56 million European homes, says SolarPower Europe.

The new directive imposes an obligation for all new buildings to be adapted to be powered by solar energy, which will make the use of solar energy simpler and more attractive, the organization added.

The EU Solar Rooftop standard applies to new non-residential and public buildings from 2027, existing non-residential buildings undergoing major renovation until 2028, new residential buildings from 2030 and all relevant existing public buildings until 2031.

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

“Most importantly, this standard will unlock the potential of large roofs, such as those installed on offices, commercial buildings and parking lots. Some buildings, such as agricultural and historical buildings, may be excluded,” the association emphasized.

The results of a preliminary analysis by SolarPower Europe suggest that the EPBD could lead to between 150 GW and 200 GW of rooftop solar installations in the EU between 2026 and 2030. It is assumed that 60% of public buildings are suitable and fall within the scope of the solar roof standard.

The association expects that the EPBD directive will make it possible to use the huge potential of roofs, estimated at the beginning of this year by the EU Joint Research Center at 560 GW.

Total rooftop solar capacity in Europe was over 170 GW at the end of 2023 and is expected to increase to 355 GW by the end of 2027, SolarPower Europe reports.

Osenberg: the gateway to smart electrification

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

In his opinion, rooftop photovoltaics must be the gateway to smart electrification.

A chance for local governments to reduce electricity bills

“Solar-powered heating and cars will reduce the cost of sustainable homes. Smartly combining rooftop solar PV with electric vehicles and heat pumps will also reduce grid impacts and even provide direct support to the grid, providing flexibility services during times of grid stress. This will require removing electrification bottlenecks and ensuring that network operators can exploit this flexibility potential,” Osenberg stressed.

According to the organization, public authorities such as local governments and the buildings they manage – such as hospitals and schools – will gain special powers thanks to this standard, unlocking the potential to lower electricity bills while reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the solar industry employs two to seven times more workers than other renewable energy sectors, noted SolarPower Europe.

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