Travis Lowder's Comments

May 09, 2012

The Challenges of Building-Integrated Photovoltaics

Hi sasa-marinic,

Thanks for your question. While solar system costs continue their rapid decline, markets are still defined by policy schemes. Premium BIPV incentives are making a strong economic case for integrated systems in select markets (mostly in Europe). However, overall solar system economics are dependent on energy production over the life of the system, and it appears that even with premium incentives some BIPV designs (e.g., vertical systems on building façades) may have low economic appeal.

The policy framework in Europe is currently the most favorable environment for future BIPV market growth.
In addition to the premium incentives offered by some of its member countries, the European Union has two directives in place which may function as BIPV demand drivers: 1) national commitments to meet the EU's 20% renewables x 2020 goals (2009/28/EC); and 2) energy performance in buildings (2002/91/EC). The latter may prove especially advantageous for BIPV deployment.

Travis Lowder

Travis Lowder

Travis Lowder is an Energy Analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Project Finance Team. His research encompasses the U.S. renewable energy project finance market and financial policy, PV project risk management, PV asset...

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