Solar Urban Areas

Major diffusion of solar thermal systems meets with the barriers to its use in major renovations in multi-family buildings located in urban and/or protected areas. Building codes very often do not allow a wide use of renewables, because:

  • their scope just include only new buildings and not renovations;
  • building located in protected areas are often exempted, even though the extension of these areas are actually relevant. Moreover renovations, especially of large buildings, are complicated from several points of view (administrative/procedural, ownership structure, owner-tenant dilemma, high investment, technical)

The so far very poor use of solar thermal in multi-family houses and urban area is in contradiction to its convincing specific advantages:

  • Solar thermal produces emission-free heat, whereas urban areas often suffer from air-pollution.
  • Solar energy is available and usable almost everywhere (on site). As energy source it is unlimited and creates independence from fuel prices or shortness.

The possibilities of the other renewable heat sources are often limited in urban areas (biomass: fuel logistics, emissions; heat pumps: limited space for ground heat exchangers).

  • In many cases solar thermal is the option for fulfilling a renewable-heat-law with the best economical feasibility and the lowest total investment costs.
  • Advanced solutions for architectural integration are available.

The project UrbanSolPlus foresees the implementation of practical actions in the participating communities, preceded by a study of the local boundary conditions and needs and by the adjustment of suitable schemes. We invite all interested local communities (governments and authorities),  house-owners, tenants, architects, installers, manufacturers, renovation enterprises, ESCOs and financing organizations to the cooperation. Several workshops and seminars are foreseen in scope of the project during which experienced partners will bring in and share with the best practice experiences. Practical material,  best practice models and examples will be also progressively collect on the following webpages.

EC BREC Institute for Renewable Energy, Str. Mokotowska 4/6, Warsaw, phone: +48 22 825 46 52