Modeling global and regional potentials for building-integrated solar energy generation

Ksenia Petrichenko, Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Luisa F. Cabeza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


With the Paris Agreement coming into force, global efforts will need to maximize opportunities through energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Zero energy/carbon initiatives are mushrooming worldwide, but it has not been fully understood which building types in which climates and under which conditions can potentially be built to net zero energy standards. In order to inform these efforts, a new model was developed to estimate the technical potential for building—integrated solar energy (BISE, the name of the model) generation in a high resolution regional, climate and building typology breakdown., The BISE model also evaluates the opportunities for potential net zero energy buildings based on the BISE findigns, combining these with the findings of two global low-energy building models. The BISE model has a very high resolution in terms of geographic regions, climate types, building types and vintages. Moreover, the model combines methods for bottom-up energy modeling and geospatial analysis. The thermal building energy demand estimation is based on the 3CSEP-HEB model and the plug load scenarios are based on the BUENAS model. Results are wide, due to intrinsic limitationso of the model detailed in the paper, but it is shown that there is a substantial potential for building-integrated solar energy generation in all world regions, and that the Deep Efficiency Scenario allows significantly more building types to meet net zero energy levels by 2050 in contrast to a scenario when only moderate energy efficiency improvements are implemented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Pages (from-to)329-339
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Solar energy
  • Potentials
  • Energy efficiency
  • Net zero energy buildings
  • Modeling
  • Geospatial analysis


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