BIPV Status Report 2017

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The Status Report 2017 on BIPV is a joint publication of the Swiss BIPV Competence Centre of SUPSI with SEAC (Solar Energy Application Centre). The report addresses the status of the BIPV product portfolio in Europe. The central part is a database of commercially available BIPV products, along with the innovation trends, a cost analysis and some pilot examples. 

The BIPV market in Europe is in a transition. The past decades of a slowly emerging BIPV market have been characterized by the original dominant value of BIPV: a building that communicates an image of sustainability and innovation. As BIPV is more expensive than straightforward application of a PV system on a roof (BAPV), the appropriate question is always: what is the value that justifies this additional cost? In the past years this value in most cases was: image. The message that is communicated by the building: a message of sustainability, responsibility and even idealism. Payback time or return on investment have not been the major parameters in the decision process for applying BIPV, but also for conventional building products.

This is changing now. In most European countries the new regulations on energy performance in buildings, derived from the EPDB 2010 [1], have been defined and the time for the regulations to become mandatory is very near. The energy performance regulations are now taking over as the main driving factor for the BIPV market. And that has huge consequences. Instead of BIPV finding its value in being visible and supporting an image, the main value of BIPV products now becomes to be invisible. In other words: we do not want to see anymore the difference between a regular building component and a BIPV component.