MEPs want the European Union to capitalise on the immense potential of rooftop solar in the EU. The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted on July 6 the Maximizing Energy Efficiency in Buildings report, SolarPower Europe said on July 7. The next step will be the European Parliament voting on the report during its plenary on the week of September 14.
The report supports the massive roll-out of solar power as part of the EU’s upcoming Renovation Wave initiative in September 2020, including the launch of a pan-European solar rooftop programme. This programme would aim to meet the rooftop potential of the EU, which could produce approximately 680 TWh per annum according to the JRC and promote the deployment of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and distributed storage, SolarPower Europe said in a press release.
SolarPower Europe Policy Director and Interim CEO Aurélie Beauvais noted that the ITRE Committee has taken an important step to recognise solar power as a key strategic value chain in the EU. “This is essential to strengthening European leadership in renewable energy, as well as increasing our energy security. Around the world, Europe is already seen as a leader in renewable technologies, with BIPV products in particular being developed in European R&D centres and manufactured on the continent. We should build on this momentum and ensure that European innovation continues to produce future-proof technologies that align with the climate goals of the European Green Deal,” Beauvais said.
Today, more than 90% of buildings in the EU go unused when they could help mitigate CO2 emissions by having solar installed on them, according to Miguel Herrero Cangas, Policy Advisor and Coordinator of the Solar Buildings workstream at SolarPower Europe. “Currently the EU building stock accounts for 36% of the region’s emissions, and installing solar on available rooftop space could save up to 7 million tonnes of CO2 each year. In addition, rooftop solar is incredibly labour-intensive and will bring highly-skilled, local jobs and growth in line with a Green Recovery and the European Green Deal,” he said.
Further, the Maximizing Energy Efficiency in Buildings report highlights European leadership in BIPV and suggests that renewable energy technologies should be recognised as a key strategic value chain.