Building-integrated photovoltaics: Closer collaboration with the construction industry needed
Plus energy house in Frankfurt with building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
pv Europe: How do you want to achieve that more BIPV systems are used?Sebastian Lange: The Alliance BIPV is still a fairly young association. The aim of the Alliance BIPV is nothing less than to bring the BIPV from the niche into the broad application. BIPV is to become a self-evident component of buildings. One of our approach is to promote the BIPV in the public and in all relevant areas. This means, above all, that we will convey the advantages and possibilities of BIPV. We are currently working on developing our Internet site into a comprehensive BIPV portal. Here we want to collect all relevant information and to show which of our members can help in the realization of BIPV projects.
Another approach is to tackle the existing obstacles in a targeted manner and to improve the framework conditions for BIPV. This also includes developing our own guidelines and guidelines for BIPV projects. In addition, well-known research facilities are members of Allianz BIPV. Together with manufacturers and planners and consultants, they are discussing in the BIPV alliance that BIPV technologies can be further developed and further improved. I think this is a very important step.
Do you also work closely with partner organizations in other European countries or with associations such as Solarpower Europe?The exchange with other associations and organizations is very important to us and also anchored in our statutes. We do not want to compete with existing associations with our information and networking offer. Our concern is rather to build a bridge between the construction industry and the electrical and energy sector. To date, the different actors in BIPV do not always speak the same language. Here we want to mediate.
We are already in talks with the first partner organizations. In addition, members of the Alliance BIPV are very active in other associations such as Solarpower Europe, where they can represent our common interests. We want to expand the exchange with the European neighbors even further. Because we deliberately set the course early on to make the BIPV known and further developed beyond the German-speaking countries. Already today we have members from four different countries, hopefully soon more.
Should the manufacturers conduct a much more offensive marketing?The manufacturers already do a lot. However, the manufacturers are faced with the challenge that they must first communicate the advantages and benefits of integrating the PV technology into the building envelope. Only afterwards comes the marketing of their own product. I would like to see the first stage as far as possible in the Alliance BIPV. The mediation of the arguments, which speak for the integration of the building as such, could certainly be drawn before the staple. Our members could then concentrate on the actual marketing of their products.
I would like to see the first stage as far as possible in the Alliance BIPV. The mediation of the arguments, which speak for the integration of the building as such, could certainly be drawn before the staple. Our members could then concentrate on the actual marketing of their products - without a long introduction, why BIPV makes sense. The BIPV portal, which we are currently working on, should also be able to do that.
What potential do you see for BIPV in Europe?BIPV has enormous potential not only in Europe, but worldwide. The advantages of BIPV are the same everywhere, only the legal and economic conditions differ from country to country.
With regard to our European manufacturers, however, we should be careful that other manufacturers don`t overtake them. Our companies have built up a know-how that is world-class. Meanwhile, however, also in the Silicon Valley and in Asia, companies think about strategies to the head about how to lead BIPV out from a niche market into wider applications. This does not necessarily have to be bad for the European BIPV market. Everything that makes building-integrated photovoltaics more popular is still useful. But if we don`t soon succeed in strengthening the sales of our companies, others will pass us sooner than we like. In conventional photovoltaics, the situation was quite similar.
What are the top five markets for BIPV in Europe?In principle, we see Europe as a market, even if the unification of the legal requirements for the construction products still leaves something to be desired. Within Europe there is certainly a focus in the German-speaking countries, in the Benelux countries, in France and in England. At the same time, Switzerland is almost a key player in BIPV. But there is also an increase in interest and demand in Scandinavia.
Interviewed by Hans-Christoph Neidlein