Solar carports on the rise in Europe thanks to mandates

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What is the current market situation for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in Europe?

Chai: We see a steady growth at this moment for BIPV projects, especially in Germany. And with the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the EU has decided to put solar panels on every single roof or building, so we see a potential growth here.

Are there any particular needs or pain points in the European marketplace when it comes to solar products?

Chai: In commercial applications, we already see that many traditional panels are too heavy for the load-bearing roofs, so they need solutions here. That's the first pain point. The next is for solar carports, which are also becoming mandatory for new carports in France or Germany. The installation time can be quite long, because the solar panels are not really suited to make it a waterproof structure. So it requires a third party to waterproof the structure and adapt the existing traditional panels, which makes the systems complicated.

How does GoodWe’s Polaris integrated solar carport address the needs of the European market?

Chai: We made a waterproof structure that is already integrated with the panel frame, simplifying the installation process. We also made the maintenance and installation faster by designing a special installation method. With this method, you just need to tighten the screw with our U-bolt components, and installation requires only two to three minutes per panel. A 100 kW solar carport used to take one month to install using traditional panels. But for our panels, it takes only two weeks, which is half the installation time. This also means you have two more weeks of yield and two more weeks of parking available for customers.

What specific gaps is GoodWe addressing or looking to fill in the European markets and how will the company's products fill those gaps?

Chai: I think currently, most companies offer traditional panels mainly for big roofs, and that nobody has anything for high-rise buildings. Maybe they have some solar glass, but the efficiency is still quite low. GoodWe has already launched the Stellar Series, including a horizontal solar shade and a vertical solar shade, which can help a building reduce its energy consumption, while also providing shade to reduce the heat to the building.

GoodWe's Senior International Business Development Director of BIPV, Apollo Chai

Image: GoodWe

What technical advantages do GoodWe’s products have for consumers in Europe?

Chai: When we design the products, efficiency is just one success factor we consider. We also take into account the installation and the real application. For example, a shade is something that already existed in the market, but we integrated solar into the aluminum structures and made it ventilated. The design made it easy to quickly install using existing expertise. We didn't want to complicate it and require additional training for the new products. We just developed it based on the existing knowledge of the builders.

In addition to Germany, what other specific markets are you interested in?

Chai: We also see markets like France and Italy, which are growing very fast when it comes to solar carports. When you visit some cities in France, you can already see a lot of solar carports. Another interesting market is Spain. It has a huge potential because they have a very ambitious target as well. Additionally, Sweden is targeting solar roofs, and Switzerland is targeting solar carports as well.

What other new applications is GoodWe researching?

Chai: We are also doing research for the solar facades for high-rise buildings and also for warehouses. In these applications, we are able to leverage the vertical walls to generate electricity. Also, we are doing solar louvres and solar walls specifically for highways.

 

The questions and responses in this sponsored interview article were provided by GoodWe. 

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