Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV): Review, Potentials, Barriers and Myths
To date, none of the predictions that have been made about the emerging BIPV industry have really hit the target. The anticipated boom has so far stalled and despite developing and promoting a number of excellent systems and products, many producers around the world have been forced to quit on purely economic grounds. The authors believe that after this painful cleansing of the market, a massive counter trend will follow, enlivened and carried forward by more advanced PV technologies and ever- stricter climate policies designed to achieve energy neutrality in a cost-effective way. As a result, the need for BIPV products for use in construction will undergo first a gradual and then a massive increase. The planning of buildings with multifunctional, integrated roof and façade elements capable of fulfilling the technical and legal demands will become an essential, accepted part of the architectonic mainstream and will also contribute to an aesthetic valorisation. Until then, various barriers need to be overcome in order to facilitate and accelerate BIPV. Besides issues related to mere cost-efficiency ratio, psychological and social factors also play an evident role. The goal of energy change linked to greater use of renewables can be successfully achieved only when all aspects are taken into account and when visual appeal and energy efficiency thus no longer appear to be an oxymoron.