• IEA PVPS explores the BIPV market potential in Spain in a new report under Task 15
  • It sees lack of technical guidance from the government and financial subsidies as limiting factors for its proliferation
  • There is also a need to have BIPV-qualified technicians and bring in competency among developers for this technology

Building integrated PV (BIPV) technology in Spain has sufficient quality but is mainly limited to the scientific and academic fields, according to a technical report by the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) that points out the lack of specific financial incentives or subsidies for the segment to grow.

Published under Task 15 of the IEA PVPS that aims to create an enabling framework to accelerate the penetration of BIPV products for renewables globally, it analyses the Technological Innovation System (TIS) of BIPV in Spain. This report centers around BIPV modules and systems, along with PV modules and systems for purely aesthetical integration.

According to the report writers, this innovation system needs further technological and market knowledge which is more needed in BIPV roofing space as compared to the BIPV façade solutions.

Beyond the technological aspect, IEA PVPS also sees a gap between solar PV and construction sectors. It strives to disseminate knowledge about the BIPV segment, even as there is growing entrepreneurial activity. More competency is needed to take it forward. It is needed also in terms of lack of BIPV-qualified technicians.

Additionally, project developers still prefer building added/applied PV (BAPV) since it is a well-established tool for self consumption of power. Hence, most BIPV installations can be seen as rainscreens, awnings, skylights and curtain walls.

“The main reasons why most market-developed products are BIPV glazing are that the technical building code has only addressed tertiary buildings and has required some installed power instead of some energy contribution. Moreover, according to the CTE, PV façades had to be BIPV and not BAPV if they showed irradiation losses of more than 40%, which occurs in most locations in Spain,” explain the report writers.

They also refer to costs and lack of related regulations in the report titled Analysis of the Technological Innovation System for BIPV in Spain. Since BIPV is not explicitly mentioned in the Technical Building Code in Spain, there are no specific financial incentives or subsidies available. Both these requirements are significant to boost BIPV in Spain.

“The BIPV market in Spain is still a niche market, slowly growing and with good future perception. The search guidance is not clear but starts from a general framework that, despite all, could be favorable to BIPV development; BIPV can benefit from the support addressed to PV self-consumption and buildings’ energy retrofit projects,” recommend the analysts.

This report follows the IEA PVPS’ Trends Report 2022 under Task 1 according to which global PV installations in 2021 were a total of 175 GW (see Local & Affordable Solar Stands For Global Peace).