France has just passed a pioneering new law that requires all new buildings to be partially covered by solar panels or green roofs, a requirement that some European capitals such as Copenhagen already have . This will not only bring drastic changes to the country’s horizons, it will enhance the energy efficiency of all new commercial construction. The law will help France to regain the solar rhythm that it had lost compared to other European countries in recent years.
French environmental groups had requested a stricter law, that the plant cover be complete. Instead, lawmakers chose to give the option of partial green roofs or solar panels.
The roofs in buildings with plants and shrubs, will help absorb rainwater and reduce runoff, provide green spaces in urban areas can play an important role in reducing the effect of urban “heat island”. This phenomenon occurs when urban areas are built, destroying local vegetation and retaining more heat, with a temperature increase of between 1.8 ° C – 5.4 ° C than in their surroundings during the day, the same happens at night.
The option envisaged by legislators to install solar panels may also help France catch up on the development of solar energy. While neighboring Germany has made great strides in developing its solar capacity, France had just five gigawatts of PV installed last summer, accounting for one percent of the country’s entire energy production.
We hope that other countries can soon follow suit.