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How ‘solar skins’ can decarbonise Europe’s cities and create new jobs

SolarPower Europe and ETIP PV have launched a report outlining how building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) technologies, so-called ‘solar skins’, can decarbonise Europe’s building stock, accelerate the clean energy transition in European cities and bring about new jobs.

The new report ‘Solar Skins: An opportunity for greener cities‘ demonstrates how local authorities can benefit from BIPV technologies to decarbonise their building stock and how an increased uptake of BIPV could propel a promising European-based industry, delivering local and highly skilled jobs in the energy and construction sector.

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “Buildings currently account for 40% of the EU’s final energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. The decarbonisation of the building stock is therefore critical to achieving a carbon-neutral European economy by 2050. This report aims to support local authorities in developing ambitious building renovation strategies, pooling synergies between energy efficiency and on-site renewable generation, and fostering the uptake of innovative construction and energy products. Furthermore, the report showcases the many advantages that BIPV technologies offer, providing aesthetically pleasing, cost-competitive solutions for carbon-neutral buildings.”

Rutger Schlatmann, Director PVcomB Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and coordinator of ETIP PV IPV working group, said: “Within ETIP PV´s working group on Integrated Photovoltaics, we are convinced that there is huge potential for solar skins in Europe. This technology offers tremendous opportunities for cities and communities to actively contribute to climate change mitigation to gain control over their energy supply and create many clean energy jobs. Over the past years, ETIP PV has worked hard to bring together many of the stakeholders on a European, as well as on a national level. We believe this report outlines a number of very concrete best practices on how municipal authorities can integrate solar skins, and thus lead the way towards greener cities.”

Alexandra Sombsthay, VP European & International Public Affairs of Akuo Energy and Chair of SolarPower Europe’s BIPV Task Force, commented: “BIPV is the next leapfrog in the PV sector that will allow the massive development of solar-skinned buildings. By addressing both aesthetics and energy supply challenges, it provides a new range of solutions to actually mitigate climate change. As chairperson of SolarPower Europe’s BIPV Task Force, I am extremely impressed by the dynamism of the industry backing this genuine revolution that goes along with a strong buy-in by architects.”

Read original release and download report here.