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How to use BIPV to reach EU targets for energy efficiency in buildings
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A chat about BIPV with European Commissioner Kadri Simson

On 8 June 2021, shortly before the official presentation of the Fit for 55 package, representatives of the EU value chain for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) met with European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson outside the Berlaymont building in Brussels.

Representing a grass roots movement comprising more than 200 European BIPV value chain partners (ranging from academia to SMEs), ISSOL and AGC Glass Europe handed over a letter to Commissioner Simson calling for more and better recognition of BIPV in EU policies.

Did you know that if all louvres on the European Commission’s Berlaymont building in Brussels were fitted with BIPV, as much as 3.09 GWH/year could be generated? That’s equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 800 households! At current electricity prices, this would yield a return of €3,223,240 over 10 years, easily outstripping the original investment.

On top of that, there are many new and innovative applications of BIPV whereby photovoltaic cells can be embedded in building materials, thus helping to transform the entire stock of EU buildings into a de facto power generator. To be able to achieve the objectives of the Renovation Wave – e.g. renovating 35 million buildings by 2030, creating up to 160,000 additional green jobs in the construction sector, slashing buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions by 60% and reducing buildings’ energy consumption – we must aim for the mass deployment of all kinds of solar applications – including BIPV – not just on roofs but also on building facades.

“To reach EU targets for energy efficiency in buildings and ensure an increasing share of renewable energies we need as much photovoltaic as possible, and roofs are just not enough. We need to look beyond the roof to the rest of the building. That’s where BIPV as a technology for facades comes in.”
Niels Schreuder (Public Affairs & Communication at flat glass leader AGC Glass Europe):

BIPV can be added to existing building facades by way of aesthetically attractive, non-intrusive renovation. This creates European and local green jobs; more so than with standard PV products. The EU BIPV value chain is ready to contribute and is calling on the European Union to recognise and specifically mention BIPV as readily available solutions in EU policies and in the upcoming revisions of energy-related European directives.

“BIPV’s potential is huge and can replace any conventional building material, even on protected cultural heritage buildings. Incorporating BIPV building materials in new and renovated EU buildings can alone save up to 7 million tonnes of CO2 annually.”
Olivier Demeijer (Managing Director of ISSOL, a Belgian BIPV company)

During the conversation, Commissioner Simson took the time to look at the BIPV samples available in the AGC Glass Shuttle while discussing the importance of the energy transition as well as the transition of the built environment and the important role BIPV can play in this regard.

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“We need new innovative solutions like BIPV. To achieve the European Green Deal goals our policies must include different types of solar technologies.”
European Energy Commissioner Simson
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