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Development and demonstration of a dynamic, web-based, renewable energy rating platform

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Online platform for renewable energy rating

EU-funded researchers are creating a website that provides a bird's eye view of building roofs and assesses their suitability for solar energy technology.

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The EU has set ambitious goals for increasing the share of renewable energies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. In particular, solar energy represents one of the most promising technologies for residential applications. Despite considerable technological advancements in terms of system performance and efficiency, it represents a small fraction of the household energy supply. Funded by the EU, the aim of the project 'Development and demonstration of a dynamic, web-based, renewable energy rating platform' (EAGLE) was to increase the market acceptance of renewable energy systems (RESs). Project members focused on developing an online platform that evaluates the potential of a building to use solar energy as a first step. Partners envisioned an intuitive and easy-to-use system employing a unique dynamic grading technology. This should enable consumers to make better informed decisions and allow project members to provide better services, significantly increasing market penetration and revenues. The renewable energy rating platform analyses the solar energy market and its financial incentives by processing all the available data. It employs high-resolution imagery such as aerial photography and identifies potential obstacles on roofs by mapping buildings in 3D. EAGLE should help project members increase their RES sales by providing them — as well as consumers — with objective information about building-specific RES performance. In turn, this should allow calculating the return on investment for any given scenario and potentially reduced installation costs. Project partners defined a methodology for prototype image processing and roof space modelling. Development of the EAGLE platform, the web portal and the graphical user interface has commenced. This intelligent RES rating platform is expected to increase the market penetration of 13 000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the design, manufacture and installation of RES technologies.

Keywords

Renewable energy, buildings, roof

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