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Energy performance of buildings: photovoltaic systems to become a standard product in new buildings


08 Dec 2009



Brussels, Monday 7 December 2009

Today, at the Energy Council the Swedish Presidency was congratulated for the agreement
reached on the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Any new European
building will have to be “nearly zero energy” by 2020, meaning that a very large share of
energy consumption will be provided by renewable energy. Solar photovoltaic technologies
are amongst the best suited to be integrated in buildings. However no target has been set
for existing buildings which currently represent about 99% of the building stock.


EPIA hopes that the new EPBD will ensure a strong boost for on-site renewable energy sources
(RES) like photovoltaics (PV), which as a decentralized and sustainable energy technology is easy
and quick to install in housing and has the ability to provide a significant share of the household
and commercial energy demand. The threshold of 1000 m2 present in the previous EPBD has now
been removed, opening possibilities to improve the energy performance for all sizes of edifices.

The new directive stipulates that “the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should to a
very significant extent be covered by energy coming from renewable sources, including renewable
energy produced on-site or nearby”. EPIA recommends that when transposing the directive in the
national law, EU member states should focus on developing the potential of “on-site” RES, which
can turn energy consuming buildings into more energy independent even autonomous or positive
energy buildings.


For existing buildings, using alternative systems, such as RES is encouraged; EPIA believes this
constitutes progress but still not enough, as existing buildings currently represent 99% of the
building stock. Therefore Member States should be more ambitious and propose a concrete target
for this major segment of the market when transposing the law.


“If well implemented by the 27 EU countries, this new piece of legislation will be essential to meet
the target set by EPIA to reach 12% of Europe’s electricity demand by 2020 with photovoltaic
energy” commented Eleni Despotou, EPIA Policy Director.


Photovoltaic technology can be integrated in many ways in buildings either on the roof (e.g. by
replacing the tiles), on external building walls, as semi-transparent façades (inside the glass), as
shading element or skylight (semi transparent roof).

For more information on how to integrate PV in buildings see the publication: Building integrated


For more information:

Marie Latour, Media Relations: +32 2 400 10 13 –


With more than 200 Members drawn from across the entire solar electricity sector, the European
Photovoltaic Industry Association is the world’s largest photovoltaic industry association and represents
about 95% of the European photovoltaic industry. EPIA members are present throughout the whole value-
chain: from silicon, cells and module production to systems development. EPIA’s mission is to deliver a
distinct and valuable service driven from the strength of a single photovoltaic voice.


European Photovoltaic Industry Association

Renewable Energy House – Rue d’Arlon 63-67 – 1040 Brussels, Belgium –


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