dcsimg Let the sunshine in - Ramboll Group

Let the sunshine in

Investment in solar power will far outweigh spending on fossil fuels in the next 25 years, according to a forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The biggest development will be in small-scale rooftop solar. For now, though, it is only sustainable in special cases.


The slanting roof faces south, which gives it room for 8,300 integrated solar cells. They will produce all the power this Oslo Solar building in the Norwegian capital needs – and a surplus of at least 2 kWh per square metre.

Oslo Solar is projected to be the most energy producing building in Europe when finished in 2020. As the jury chairman of the Futurebuilt Urban+ international building competition in Oslo, Kristin Haug Lund from Entra, puts it:

We aim to build an iconic and innovative building, combining the highest environmental standards, world-class architecture and urban development.”

Ramboll is the engineering consultant on Oslo Solar, which exemplifies a major trend forecast in Bloomberg’s New Energy Outlook 2015: the decentralised solar revolution.

“The biggest solar revolution will take place on rooftops. High electricity prices and cheap residential battery storage will make small-scale rooftop solar ever more attractive, driving a 17-fold increase in installations. By 2040, rooftop solar will be cheaper than electricity from the grid in every major economy, and almost 13% of electricity worldwide will be generated from small-scale solar systems,” the report concludes.

Oslo Solar Vaterlandsparken

Power to the people

Developing nations will account for almost 80% of new power capacity added worldwide, with solar making the biggest gains. The combination of cheap solar panels and battery storage will in many cases bring electricity for the first time to remote, poor villages. Delivering “solar power to the people” through small systems will help weaken the historic connection between economic development and rising pollution levels, New Energy Outlook states.

In developed countries more than 75% of solar projects will involve small power systems like the photovoltaic (PV) cells on the Oslo Solar rooftop, according to New Energy Outlook. At the present cost of solar PV, local rooftop PV as an economically and environmentally sustainable solution for society remains the exception, not the rule, stresses Anders Dyrelund, Senior Market Manager in Ramboll Energy.

“The architectural design of Oslo Solar, however, allows us to consider solar PV for the entire facade. Thus, we have the opportunity to compare the cost of the solar PV facade elements with the costs of similar elements without solar. In such cases the additional cost of using solar can be so low that even today it is, overall, sustainable for society,” Anders Dyrelund says.

However, the most sustainable use of solar PV and batteries is not on buildings connected to the grid, but for the 20% of the world’s population that are off the grid. They can benefit from the low voltage direct current (LVDC) produced by solar energy and batteries to power LED lighting, computers, televisions and other modern, low-energy devices, Anders Dyrelund points out.



Solar energy
Solar heating is one of the most well-known and environmentally sustainable alternatives to traditional energy sources. Ramboll is one of the global leading consultants within solar heating. Read more about our solar energy services here.


Magnus Killingland
Department Manager, Building Services, Ramboll NO
T+47 99 60 26 90
Anders Dyrelund
Anders Dyrelund
District Heating and Energy Planning Specialist
T+45 5161 8766