- SPE along with 17 other organizations has urged the EU to have an ambitious and bold solar mandate for buildings
- Rooftop solar mandate should be announced for all new and renovated buildings, as well as existing non-residential buildings
- To facilitate this, SMEs should be provided with adequate financial and technical support and local governments supported
- Such a measure will ensure efficient, decarbonized solar buildings and promote self-consumption energy models
Stakeholders from 18 organizations, including SolarPower Europe (SPE), have urged the European Union (EU) Energy Ministers and the European Parliament to support an ambitious solar mandate to ensure solar is installed on all new and renovated buildings, as well as existing non-residential buildings.
In a joint letter, these stakeholders urge the EU to support the development of a strong mandate for on-site solar in the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and accelerate the solar roll out to support Europe’s independence from fossil fuels.
It should include mandatory solar installations for buildings undergoing major renovations, calling it a ‘low-hanging fruit, no-regret solution, already adopted in several member states’. There is solar mandate for renovated buildings in 7 EU nations, while 9 countries have the same rule for new buildings. Recently, Ireland eased regulations to make it easier for rooftop solar installations to grow in the country without needing planning permission, with some exceptions (see Ireland Facilitating Rooftop Solar Installations).
Relevant infrastructure should also be counted in its purview, as carports. They also demand adequate financial and technical support to small and medium enterprises (SME) that are at the ‘heart’ of rooftop solar installations.
“An ambitious solar requirement on all buildings will support the rapid roll out of efficient, decarbonized solar buildings, while encouraging the expansion of the necessary green workforce,” according to the CEO of SPE, Walburga Hemetsberger.
Apart from the number of skilled jobs such a move will generate, the mandate will help Europe reduce citizen and societal costs while promoting collective self-consumption energy models.
“Rooftop solar is a no brainer and it needs urgent and massive scale-up. But local governments are ill-equipped and understaffed to deliver on this challenge so higher ambitions will have to be matched with higher means,” said Policy Lead at one of the signatories of the letter Energy Cities, Alix Bolle.
The EU already has a European Solar Rooftops Initiative as part of its EU Solar Energy Strategy through which it aims to gradually introduce an obligation to install solar energy in different types of buildings over the next years, starting with new public and commercial buildings, and include residential buildings eventually.