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23 June 2010

Solar industry: roofs could generate 40 per cent of EU electricity

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Study reckons 40 peer cent of European roof space is technically suitable for solar installations

Around 40 per cent of the EU's required electricity could be generated using building-mounted solar panels by 2020, according to new figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).

The study calculated that 40 per cent of all building roofs and 15 per cent of all facades are technically suitable for photovoltaic (PV) installations, providing an area of over 22,000 square kilometres. It added that solar panels installed on these buildings alone could generate about 1,400TWh of electricity each year.

The new report was launched at an event in at the Ministry of Housing in Madrid designed to highlight the potential for building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technologies, particularly in southern Europe.

"Spain has a unique opportunity to develop the BIPV market, which in addition to leveraging the decentralised nature of PV generation would enable the stimulation of tens of thousands of jobs firmly anchored in the local economy, many of which in the construction industry," said Virgilio Navarro, EPIA's vice-president and chief executive of Spanish solar firm Atersa.

Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of EPIA added that demand for building integrated solar technologies capable of generating energy while also improving building performance was likely to increase as EU wide low carbon building regualtions come into effect.

"From 2012 onwards all Member States will need to adopt the recently approved Energy Performance of Building directive (EPBD) establishing that by 2020, all new building will need to be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings," he explained. " Solar Photovoltaics, will be a key technology enabling to reach such an ambitious and crucial objective."


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