Net Zero Buildings – Why BIPV?

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) refers to the integration of photovoltaic (PV) devices into the building envelope, replacing traditional materials with those that serve as building skin and solar power generator.

Taking an innovative approach to BIPV, Pythagoras Solar’s optically-enhanced solar window is the industry’s first to deliver “Triple Value” benefits—energy efficiency, PV power generation, and transparency—in a standard form factor that is easily integrated into conventional building design and construction processes, while providing an aesthetically appealing appearance. These “Triple Value” benefits will allow new building materials to leverage the rising demand for Green Buildings and declining cost of PV devices to advance toward the goal of self-powered, Net Zero Energy buildings.

Why BIPV and why Pythagoras Solar starts with the growing worldwide demand for electricity and the search for distributed renewable energy resources.

Growing Worldwide Demand for Electricity and Fossil Fuels

According to the 2009 International Energy Outlook report published by the US Energy Information Agency, the worldwide demand for electricity continues to grow 2.4 percent a year and is mainly serviced by fossil fuels.

World net electricity generation is expected to increase by 77 percent between 2006 and 2030, rising from 18.0 trillion kilowatthours to 31.8 trillion kilowatthours. If current trends hold, fossil fuel (coal, petroleum, and natural gas) will continue to be the main source of energy for electricity generation—66 percent of total energy—with coal, the most environmentally damaging and highest producer of carbon dioxide emissions of the fossil fuels, representing about 40 percent. Predictably, the result of this mix of energy sources for electricity generation is a 39 percent rise in carbon dioxide emissions from 29.0 billion metric tons in 2006 to 40.4 in 2030.

The environmental effects and threat of climate change from carbon dioxide emissions due to fossil fuel usage in electricity generation are widely known and debated. Pricing unpredictability, dwindling supplies, and energy security have added to concerns about fossil fuels. Attempts to curb carbon emissions and address these concerns have been undertaken by international bodies as well as national, state and local governments through and regulations. They have set goals for lower emissions, as well as tax incentives and grants that promote energy conservation and accelerate development and deployment of clean, renewable sources of energy.