TESTING ALMOST INVISIBLE PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS
Partners in charge: Quedlinburg (DE)
Partners involved: Bologna (Italy), CETA (Italy), CERE (Austria)
• Allow for the development and installation of RES materials in historic sites adaptable to different surfaces on a transnational level
• Elaborate know-how regarding EE and RES measures adaptable to historic buildings.
Description: The investment consists of the installation of specific photovoltaic panels on the roof of classified historic buildings protected by the UNESCO World Heritage. The Municipality of Quedlinburg has been testing new types of photovoltaic panels matching the colour theme of the surrounding rooftops with lower degree of reflection, leaving the site in undisturbed conditions with regard to the conservation rules.
Timeline: Oct 2011 – Nov 2012
Planned budget: 71 000 Eur
Both pilots in Bologna and in Quedlinburg, have highlighted difficulties in dealing with the protection of cultural and historical values and a need to improve EE measures to reduce current and future expenditures related to energy consumption.
Some technologies are too invasive for conservation concerns; others are suitable, but often too expensive or do not reach the expected EE level. The lack of properly defined legal framework allows countries to ignore the related measures included in EU directives. Furthermore, cultural heritage offices or authorities often reject renovation projects due to the lack of guidelines on energy related measures and interventions on historical buildings.
In the case of the Quedlinburg (Germany) pilot, solar energy panels had to be installed in a hidden/nearly invisible way on the roof of a listed historic building. This project showcases the bilateral discussion process between the municipality and the built heritage protection authorities.
In this pilot the specific requirement to cover the entire roof area with tailor-made modules resulted in higher expenses. However a closer cooperation with the local conservation agency is likely to result in more suitable and cost-effective solutions.
It is expected that obtaining a permission to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on listed buildings and in historic city centres will be a case by case decision in the future. Generally speaking, authorities responsible for the protection of the built heritage are mostly willing to permit PV solutions if those are in line with current street- or front views and the historic landscapes.
The development of further innovative PV technologies is in process (tiles, foils etc.). As the public acceptance of RES solutions shows an expansively increasing tendency more and more legal requirements favour the implementation of such green technologies. Furthermore authorities are also moving towards new PV solutions involving possible investors and companies.
As a result of the pilot, the nearly invisible PV solution applied is available for technical adaptation to similar sites. Efficient, design-oriented products and module integration know-how are also available. This pilot demonstrated that power-generating PV modules can be considered as one of the most comprehensive ways to implement RES solutions even in the case of listed buildings.
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