Posted: April 9, 2024

Overview of Participants
Source: IEA SHC Task 66

How important do you find aspects such as performance, financing and the environment in relation to solar energy buildings? This question interested the participants of the IEA Task 66 on Solar Energy Buildings. They jointly conducted a survey, which was completed by no less than 310 stakeholders, including academics (41 %), but also consultants (20 %) as well as participants from industry, public authorities, etc. (see chart). The main countries of origin were Germany (104), China (101), Mexico (43) and Denmark (29).  Elsabet Nielsen from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), together with Xinyu Zhang and Wenbo Cai from the Chinese Academy of Building Research (CABR), summarized the results of the survey carried out by the Task 66 participants. 

The questionnaire included general questions on planning, project development, performance, financial, and environmental aspects of solar energy buildings. The survey participants were asked to value each factor on a five-point scale from “very relevant” to “very irrelevant”. In the evaluation, the answers “very relevant” and “relevant” are then summarized, as well as the number of answers for “very irrelevant” and “irrelevant”.

Figure 1 shows the factors that over 80 % of the survey participants across all countries considered relevant.  These factors mainly have to do with the CO2 balance of the building and cost issues. The most important points for the stakeholders are related to CO2 emission reductions.

Figure 1: Most relevant factors: those for which more than 80 % of the participants clicked “relevant” or “very relevant”.
Source: IEA SHC Task 66

Figure 2 contains factors that received a significantly lower relevance rating of between 50 and 70 %. These aspects mostly relate to project development but subsidies, for example, also received a lower score compared with some other aspects.

Figure 2: Less relevant factors: those for which between 50 and 70 % of the participants clicked “relevant” or “very relevant”.

“The great response to the survey, particularly from Germany, China, Mexico and Denmark, enabled us to make comparisons between the countries”, said Nielsen from the DTU. The answers to the question about "the top of the list" were used to make a country comparison. Here, the survey participants were able to select the factor they considered most important from a block of aspects relating to solar energy buildings. Figure 3 shows the results, which differ greatly from country to country, in the block with the factors related to the performance of solar energy buildings.

Country Comparison
Figure 3: Country-comparison regarding the number of clicks for performance aspects that should be "at the top of the list".
Source: IEA SHC Task 66

Stable rules on selling energy/electricity is a factor that is more important in Denmark than in other countries. In China, energy savings in solar energy buildings and electricity costs were rated as decisive factors. Mexico is the only country in which stakeholders consider the local production of components for building construction to be very important.

“The participant's country definitely has a greater influence on the results than the type of institution where they work”, emphasized Nielsen. The Task 66 team found that the viewpoints of academics and consultants are not significantly different.

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