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EU set to make solar panels mandatory on all new buildings

by Sion Geschwindt
EU set to make solar panels mandatory on all new buildings

In a goal to make solar the largest electricity source in the EU, the Commission is proposing plans for mandatory solar panels on all new commercial and public buildings from 2027, and new residential buildings from 2029. 

The new proposal is aimed at rapidly replacing its reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies with renewable energy. 

“There is a double urgency to transform Europe’s energy system: ending the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which are used as an economic and political weapon and cost European taxpayers nearly €100 billion per year, and tackling the climate crisis,” the European Commission said in a statement earlier this week.

Currently, 40% of the EU’s gas is imported from Russia at a cost of over USD$110 million a day.

Following the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission is turbocharging their original green energy transition with the aim of producing nearly half of the bloc’s energy from renewables by 2030 – doubling the current amount. 

To achieve this, the Commission’s REPowerEU plan and the “solar rooftop initiative” is introducing a phased-in legal obligation to install solar panels on new public and commercial buildings, as well as new residential buildings by 2029.

The goal is to bring online over 320 GW of solar photovoltaic energy by 2025 (more than doubling from 2020) and almost 600 GW by 2030.

If successful, solar energy will become the largest electricity source in the EU by 2030, with more than half of the share coming from rooftops. 

The energy plan is also proposing to double the rate of deployment of heat pumps, to produce 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen by 2030, and to double wind capacity.

Image: Typical cement factory (Credit: Andriy Solovyov/Shutterstock)

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