Photovoltaics on Buildings - Specifying and Evaluating Project Proposals

Singapore is a small city-state without natural resources such as oil and natural gas. Fortunately, we are blessed with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. When designing a building to harness this renewable solar energy, Solar Photovoltaics (PV) helps to reduce the use of fossil fuels and improves the building’s environmental performance.

PV Systems convert sunlight directly to electricity. Not only can PV enable a building to save electricity costs from SP PowerGrid, it can also make a building stand out from the crowd, by enhancing its environmental appeal and high-tech image. Due to the growing demand for clean sources of energy, the production of solar photovoltaic cells and modules has grown exponentially in the last decade.

Accordingly, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) launched its Green Mark Scheme in January 2005 to raise environmental awareness among developers, designers and builders, and to promote sustainability in the built environment at the project conceptualization and design phases, as well as during construction. BCA is also encouraging developers to include PV in their projects as part of their Green Mark Award scheme.

Until a few years ago, most PV projects required some additional incentive to make them commercially viable. But costs have declined to the point that projects now achieve payback periods below 10 years, yielding attractive internal rates of return (IRR) of 8-12%. This applies for systems that perform properly for 20-25years, in line with PV module power warranties.

Many aspiring PV systems owners find themselves poorly prepared when requesting system proposals and evaluating offers, as they have little or no prior experience of PV systems and how to distinguish a good system from a mediocre one. Hence, we have invited an experienced PV industry professional to clear your doubts.


At the end of the programme, participants will

  • Understand the possibilities and limitations of solar PV on buildings
  • Understand the economics and payback of PV systems
  • Be familiar with the incentive schemes for PV systems
  • Understand how to specify and evaluate PV project proposals

Target audience

  • Building owners
  • Developers
  • Architects
  • Main contractors
  • Professional engineers
  • Quantity surveyors

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