Project Details

Integration of RE Technologies in Buildings (BEEP-RE)

Framework for Identifying Pilot Projects: Integrating Renewable Energy in Buildings

In any project, the framework acts as a link between what is a solution and the current status of the problem. The subsequent sections will form the core of the framework in identifying the building for pilot projects. Before integrating renewable energy technology/technologies with a building, it is essential to identify an appropriate building for the purpose. 

Selection of the type of building

As it is a well-known fact that pilot projects increase the likelihood of success in full-scale real projects. Pilot studies help to check the depth of water by dipping our toes. Hence, the pilot projects must be designed in such a way that they bring out the existing shortcomings in the sector and help to develop a robust full-scale program. In the case of renewable energy integration in buildings, the site/pilot selection depends on the following mentioned factors viz.,

Figure 1 Factors to be considered during selection of pilot projects

Based on the factors as mentioned above, it seems to be a good option to install pilot projects in the buildings or campuses which excel in a maximum of them. Further, categories of buildings and campuses are as given below:

  • Commercial/industrial buildings
  • Residential buildings / campuses
  • Institutions and hospitals
  • Hotels, etc.

All the different types of buildings mentioned above bring in their pros and cons. If we take the example of the residential sector and institutional sector, they bring in advantages like, 

  • Accessibility of big campuses
  • Options of using different RE sources (bio-methanation, solar etc.)
  • Round the clock demand for energy. Hence, the feasibility of energy storage can be studied

Besides, if we take the example of commercial/industrial buildings or campuses, they bring in the following mentioned advantages:

  • higher energy consumption
  • varied end-use energy requirements
  • the premium price of electricity
  • RE can substitute for fossil fuel(diesel) during power cuts


Figure 2 Filtering the suitable projects for pilot execution

However, as the number of pilots is limited, we must be targeting the buildings which satisfy all the aspects and are techno-economically feasible. Figure 2 shows the process of filtering of projects for implementation. The funnel in Figure 2 is the representative of the selection criteria through which the shortlisted projects will be gauged. 


Finally, the RE integration in the building must be commercially feasible, i.e., the payback time and life-cycle cost of the technology must be acceptable to the user. The payback time is the function of many factors like the price of grid-based electricity, energy consumption and capacity utilisation of RE etc. All the factors must be weighed while deciding the technology and location for pilot projects. Also, integrating renewable energy in these buildings must help the users to achieve energy independence, and it may result in successful execution. 


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