Roofs Could Be Accountable for 40% of Europe’s Electricity

electric roofs

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), has announced that building’s roofs could potentially generate two fifths of Europe’s electricity by 2020. The statement comes after a study on the potential space which the roofs on European buildings have and if they were fitted with solar panels or photovoltaics, they could soon take the brunt of non-renewable forms of generating electricity.

The total roof and facade space which could have photovoltaics fitted upon them is 22,000 sq km. If building adapted (BAPV) systems or building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems were used, this could generate an amazing 1400 kW-h of annual electricity.

Although BIPV systems are more costly than the adapted units, they can be made to be more versatile as they can also offer weather protection and heat insulation, rather than having existing roof materials such as tiles and slate, then having to fit solar panels above them.

In Italy and France for example, the additional cost of BIPV systems has been taken into account, and their governmental support systems. In France and Italy, BIPV systems account for around 30% of the solar panels fitted to buildings and residential homes yet in Germany or Spain for instance, BIPV only has 1% of the market share, while BAPV are much more prevalent.

The Secretary General of EPIA, Adel El Gammel said, “It is essential to put in place favorable conditions across Europe that will support a wide deployment of BIPV applications”.

If we take Spain for example, a country whose unemployment rate is at a phenomenal 20%, by developing BIPV systems it would not only support tens of thousands of local jobs but it would also put pressure and encourage the decentralization of the energy generation. This is a major factor which is currently not being looked at especially as new buildings are being pressured into being zero energy by the year 2020, according to Virgilio Navarro, EPIA’s vice president.


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