Solar power generation and clay roofing tiles

According to the German Solar Industry
Association (BSW), more than 80% solar power – both photovoltaic and solar thermal power – is generated on roof tops.

The accumulated installed power for photovoltaic systems almost doubled in 2010 (approx. 18 GW) compared to 2009 (9.8 GW), as a study by Roland Berger and Prognos on behalf of BSW Solar published in November 2010 showed (You can find the full study at In 2010 there were more than 2.3 mill. solar power and solar thermal installations in Germany. ­According to BSW Solar, sales of solar modules should at least triple by 2020. The German photovoltaic­ industry will reach at least 52 GW installed photovoltaic power by 2020. A core object­ive of the sector is to invest at least 5% of sales in research and development.

 The utilization of solar power is not only a priority in ­Germany, on 7 September the photovoltaic associations from twelve EU states agreed on a programme to accelerate the development of solar power across Europe. You can read more about this on page 6.

In its annual photovoltaic market report for 2010, Solarbuzz Inc. ( stated 139-percent growth for the worldwide PV market. Germany, Italy, Czechia, Japan, USA and China were the most important PV markets. It is expected, however, that falling incentives in the key European markets will affect the sector’s growth.

 What does all that mean for our industry? Solar power or solar heat modules are primarily mounted on top of the roof. In the case of existing buildings, the solar system can be mounted on a roof covered in clay roofing tiles. But this isn’t exactly “pretty”! Especially for newbuilds, in-roof solutions are preferred in which the module replaces the roofing tiles, ensuring a uniform appearance of the roof surface. This, however, squeezes out the roofing tiles. The clay roofing tile industry has already worked to develop the PV market with new products and accessories adapted to it. Examples were on show at Bau 2011 and InterSolar 2011 in Munich. You can find selected products and solutions from page 28.

More innovative and aesthetically appealing solutions are needed – this is your challenge as a roofing tile manu­facturer. Let’s do like the solar industry and invest more in R&D!


Anett Fischer
Editor of Zi Brick and Tile Industry International

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