Becoming energy production units. A combination of energy sources will be needed, and preferably this will include both centralised and localised energy production methods. The proportion of renewable energy in this mix is preferably maximised and in case of buildings solar energy is the most feasible and practical alternative.
Solar energy can be exploited in all surfaces of the buildings more efficiently than currently done with the silicon photovoltaic (PV) solutions, from roof-tops to façades. Currently dominating silicon PVs have exploitation barriers such as heavy weight (~12 kg/m2 is too much for existing buildings), architectural challenges in terms of visual appearance and practical construction aspects, as well as high installation costs. For these reasons, thin-film PV technologies have huge potential to spread into a wide range of off-grid end-use areas especially in the areas where autonomous energy harvesting is needed.
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antti.tohka [at] metropolia.fi