Challenges addressed

The Genèvoltaïque project aims to understand why photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are slow to "bloom" on Geneva's roofs, even though the conditions for an optimal energy transition are present. The project aims to initiate a dialogue between owners and actors of the PV sector and to act as a facilitator in order to develop and promote innovative solutions for owners and thus accelerate the installation of PV in Geneva. Genèvoltaïque aims to be neutral and independent from the PV market and has no economic objectives, the only motivation being the energy transition.

In 2020, in collaboration with Swiss Energy Planning and with the support of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), the WWF analysed the potential of solar roofs already in use in the municipalities. According to this study, the canton of Geneva was exploiting 3.1 % of its potential for rooftop solar power generation in 2019, which is only 0.6 % more than in 2017. At this rate, the canton of Geneva will have fully exploited its potential in this area by the year 2331.

On 2 December 2020, the State of Geneva made a commitment in its Energy Master Plan 2020-2030 (PDE) to achieve ambitious energy and climate objectives and to resolutely commit the canton of Geneva to the energy transition. The ambition is to achieve 350 MWp of photovoltaic production capacity by 2030. This means doubling the installed capacity by 2023 (120 MWp) and increasing it fivefold by 2030.

Objectives

  • Mobilise the collective intelligence of the industry to support five large property owners - selected for their interest and motivation in the process but also for the size and PV potential of their roofs
  • Understand the current obstacles to the installation of PV in Geneva and identify key models for success
  • Promote exchanges between the industry and property owners and create a climate of trust
  • Contribute to achieving the objectives of the PDE in terms of photovoltaic potential

What are the expected outputs of this project?

  • Tailor-made support for large property owners in Geneva
  • Installation of photovoltaic panels with a PV potential between 30 and 100 kWp on the real estate stock of large Geneva owners, combined where possible, with anticipated developments in renovation, greening and other heating systems or electric mobility
  • Aim for a snowball effect so that other owners follow

Milestones

  • Stage 1 - end of June 2022

    Targeting: identification of obstacles to be overcome and innovative models to be developed, mapping and pre-selection of buildings with high PV potential, selection of 5 major property owners

  • Stage 2 - July-October 2022

    Solutions: testing of innovative models for a selection of buildings, concepts and specifications for each building

  • Stage 3 - November-December 2022

    Commitment: accompany owners to take action and communicate on the commitments and solutions found

  • Stage 4 - from January 2023

    Implementation: setting up and monitoring pilot projects, communicating results

Funding

The project is financed by the Vitale Innovation Fund and the Office Cantonal de l'énergie de Genève (OCEN)

Leaders

Jean-Pascal Gillig

Responsable de la section Genève, WWF Suisse

Collaborators

Dr
Dr Nicolas Tetreault

Executive director, CLIMACT

Partners

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