Supply and Demand: a Marriage Made in Heaven
As solar photovoltaics reaches and surpasses grid parity we enter a new world where everything changes. We leave the fossil fuel era and enter the era of buildings that produce as much or more energy than they use – the era of net zero energy buildings. As PV costs continue to decrease and efficiencies continue to rise, we see a parallel increase in building performance. In recent years the Passive House performance standard has reached these shores. A certified passive house will use only ten percent of the heating and cooling energy of a conventional code-built building and will use about twenty five percent of a conventional building’s total energy usage. When the supply side efficiencies of PV are wedded to the demand side performance of passive house buildings at a cost to the building owner that is the same or less then for a conventional building the energy problem is solved and all buildings will be powered by renewables.