Q4 2021: Urban solar

We spend much of our time inside. Buildings are key to our daily lives and significantly impact our health and wellbeing. The majority also have substantial carbon footprints, employing heavy use of fossil fuels across their lifetimes, from their construction, use, and demolition phases. In addition to the predicted billions of square meters that will be added in the next decade, most of those buildings standing today will still be around in 2050. Thus, retrofitting existing structures is considered a key sustainability target. In Q4 2021, pv magazine’s UP Initiative will focus on the role solar and energy storage can play in greening the world’s urban spaces.

pv magazine 09/2021

Urban solar: Presentation of the quarterly theme.

pv magazine 10/2021

Under one roof: pv magazine looks at the progress being made to green the world’s cities, as part of the UP Initiative’s fourth-quarter focus on urban solar. The following article focuses on Europe’s solar plans and current achievements, specifically in heating and cooling, rooftop solar, and building-integrated PV.

Independent action: The city of Ithaca, New York – located 180 miles from Manhattan – has adopted a Green New Deal, in line with its aims to offset all carbon emissions by 2030. It is implementing private equity programs and net-zero building mandates to get there. Ryan Kennedy reports as part of the UP Initiative’s fourth-quarter focus on urban solar.

Powerful equation to expand C&I: Big rooftop PV systems on factories, warehouses and public buildings need not be limited by ownership issues nor local grid capacity, claims Australian innovator EleXsys Energy. The company is maxing out an Ikea in Adelaide, Australia, with solar and storage. And it claims its smart technology can allow the same to be done elsewhere.

Prioritizing electrification: The urgency to decarbonize the building sector has caught global attention in the lead-up to the COP26 summit, commencing on Oct. 31. Wood Mackenzie’s Ben Hertz-Shargel says that success will require a two-pronged strategy of massively electrifying building heat over the coming decade, while also investing in technologies that can pick up future heating demand if the grid cannot handle it.

pv magazine 11/2021

Up to code for decarbonization: The International Energy Agency predicts that India will record the world’s fastest growth in energy consumption from buildings through 2040. The energy demand could create a big market for solar installers and equipment providers, particularly in the commercial and industrial sector. While building codes now include provisions for renewable energy integration, effective implementation will be key to ensuring compliance, reports Uma Gupta.

Building a new policy environment: Since the beginning of 2021, all new buildings constructed in the European Union must be “nearly” zero energy. This is a complex task requiring synergies among various stakeholders and technologies. Ilias Tsagas provides insight into the drivers and challenges toward this set goal, and shines a light on solar’s most significant role.

Electrons to replace molecules in US homes: Policy developments are likely to define decarbonization efforts and rooftop solar deployment in U.S. homes. Proposed legislation at the federal level is looking to accelerate electrification, while net metering developments continue at the state level. pv magazine USA’s Ryan Kennedy provides an update.

pv magazine 12/2021

BIPV no refuge: Deployment in the building-integrated PV segment is accelerating, and so too are the number of solar products available to architects and developers. And while BIPV had long been the segment in which an array of thin-film technologies could shine, they are now in increasingly stiff competition with crystalline silicon rivals.

Headroom on heat pumps: Heat pumps can now achieve sufficiently high flow temperatures to operate most heating systems, even in older buildings. They are not yet highly efficient, but new refrigerants are expected to provide a remedy. This presents a number of challenges, but German researchers and industry participants are working on solutions to harness the power of heat pumps to keep people warm throughout the year.

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This page was last updated on December 15, 2021.