Communication on the potential of applied PV in the European Union: Rooftops, reservoirs, roads (R3)
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
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Accepted: 11 December 2023
Published online: 30 January 2024
Photovoltaics (PV) is a cost-competitive and scalable technology for electricity generation that plays a crucial role to accelerate the European energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality. Large-scale installation of rooftop PV, as well as innovative PV applications such as floating PV coupled with hydropower and bifacial PV along roads and railways, offer multi-benefits, not least in reducing competition for land. In this study, we present a geospatial approach to assess the pan-European technical potential of these three applications, using publicly available datasets. The findings reveal that the PV total installed capacity could exceed 1 TWp, which is far larger than the total PV capacity for 2030 in the EU Solar Energy Strategy (720 GWp) and would be a significant contribution to the several TWs needed for the overall transition to net-zero by 2050. The evidence presented is a useful starting point for policy-setting at national and regional level, as well as for research and detailed analyses of location specific solutions.
Key words: Photovoltaics / floating / bifacial / rooftop / EU solar strategy / R3
© G. Kakoulaki et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2024
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.