Today, 75% of Europeans live in urban areas and this is expected to rise. Already we are facing an increasing amount of challenges in our cities related to poor air quality, energy poverty, and highly inefficient buildings. The building stock accounts for 49% of Europe’s energy demand and 36% of CO2 emissions at EU level – we need to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and invest significantly in improving the energy efficiency of our buildings if Europe is to become carbon-neutral.
Against this backdrop, SolarPower Europe has launched the Solar4Buildings campaign –calling for solar on all new and renovated buildings in the EU to help limit climate change.
In the EU, more than 90% of roofs go unused, when they could help mitigate climate change by having solar installed on them. Installing solar on all new buildings and those undergoing renovations makes perfect sense as it could reduce buildings’ CO2 emissions significantly whilst producing clean electricity.
What’s more, Europe’s rooftops have huge solar potential. According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, rooftops in the EU can produce 680 TWh of solar power annually – which is equal to one quarter of the current electricity consumption in the EU.
Solar is one of the most affordable energy sources today. The price of solar panels has dropped by more than 96% since 2000 and is expected to fall even further. By installing solar, European households can also save money on their electricity bills and have access to reliable and clean energy – that makes for a greener future. In Germany, a typical four-person family household with an average annual electricity consumption of 3,600 kWh could save more than €500 each year, if equipped with an average size rooftop system.
Despite these facts, buildings are still regularly being constructed without solar. Now it is time to install solar on all these roofs – on residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings.
SolarPower Europe will present the Solar4Buildings campaign to the new European Commission starting in November and as part of its input to President-elect Ursula von der Leyen’s ‘Green Deal’.
Source: SolarPower Europe