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Estonia’s Roofit.Solar: cooler-looking solar panels for a cooler planet

“Eventually, solar is going to be part of every building,” said Roofit.Solar CEO Andres Anijalg (third from the left). In the picture: team of the company. Photo: Roofit.Solar

Solar roofing can make a difference, and look good doing it. Estonia’s Roofit.Solar is scaling up to prepare for Europe’s transition to renewables.

The EU is making bold moves towards net-zero emissions. Across all member countries, solar installations will be required on all new public and commercial buildings by 2026. New residential buildings will have to comply by 2029, and all existing public buildings by 2030. All told, around 250 million homes need to be renovated by 2050 to meet EU climate targets.

As this development shows, rooftop solar energy isn’t just a fad or a passing trend—it’s part of a long-term commitment to renewable energy. As such, it needs to be able to integrate into both new and existing buildings in a way that contributes to creating a liveable environment.

Already active in 22 countries, Roofit.Solar is an Estonian CleanTech scale-up offering building-integrated solar roofs that generate solar energy while preserving aesthetics.

A rooftop solar solution that seamlessly blends with the design

Solar panels have been around for a while, and the concept itself raises no eyebrows today. Anyone who has seen solar panels in the wild, however, knows that for the most part, they don’t exactly scream “timeless style”.

What makes the Roofit.Solar solution special is that it looks… normal. As far as your average observer is concerned, it’s just a very nice-looking roof, with no bulky panels that stick out like a sore thumb from an otherwise ordinary building. The solar cells, seamlessly integrated into metal sheets, blend seamlessly with design, helping to convert homes into sustainable net-zero buildings.

But it’s not just homes. Because the solar modules themselves are practically invisible, Roofit.Solar’s roofs also work for protected buildings and a variety of more demanding architectural styles, giving them the edge when it comes to speeding up the spread of solar energy in accordance with ambitious new regulations.

“When you walk around in Stockholm, Berlin, or Tallinn, you see these cities are full of roofs that are under protection,” says Roofit.Solar CEO Andres Anijalg. “In Tallinn, the National Library is undergoing massive renovation at the moment. Regular solar panels were not an option, so they were looking around and our modules were the only suitable solution because they look exactly like the building’s original roof.”

Roofit.Solar solar roofs can be found on prestigious buildings all over Europe. In Estonia, one landmark is the University of Tartu, which features the company´s roof, among many other renowned buildings. Photo: Roofit.Solar

People are willing and prepared to change

Aside from the inarguably stylish and uniquely versatile hardware itself, the company offers a software solution that makes it easy for construction or roofing companies to design and install these roofs. This is a crucial part of the equation. “The solar industry is changing,” Anijalg says. “We monitor closely what is happening on the solar market, and we see that eventually there will be a shortage of roofers. Europe needs to go through a massive renovation wave in order to meet the net zero targets, and there will be a shortage of installers. That’s why we are also trying to cooperate closer with installers directly—we work with companies that know a lot about roofing but not so much about solar.”

Take Ruukki, for example, a major partner and the biggest roofing material producer in Scandinavia and Central Eastern Europe. “They have the roofing material, they know how to sell it, how to deliver it, and they have a network of installers who know exactly how to deal with these materials and how to communicate with customers. We are now providing them with the solar layer.”

Having entered six new markets just last year, Roofit.Solar is well-positioned to make a compelling case: People all over the world might be more inclined to opt for a solar roof if it’s practical and looks good. “In Germany, we don’t see many metal roofs overall,” says Anijalg. “But we’re selling a lot of roofs in Germany. People are very much ready to change the style in favour of this metal roofing solution. We’re also getting a lot of inquiries from the US. From Florida, from Texas—areas with challenging weather conditions. A metal roof can survive these conditions well.”

Growing towards net-zero

Speaking of challenging weather conditions, it’s an inescapable fact that the world’s climate is changing rapidly. Weather extremes keep getting even more extreme, and moving towards net-zero emissions is crucial. The silver lining: When it comes to solar roofing, it’s also becoming more achievable, it seems. “Eventually, solar is going to be part of every building,” Anijalg projects. “Active construction materials which actually generate electricity, they pay for themselves. Solar material prices keep dropping. Even last year they dropped another 50%. It’s just getting so affordable, and soon solar will be everywhere. It makes sense—and it’s good for the planet.”

As much of a win-win as solar is for consumers and the planet, it still has the volatile energy market to contend with. And so far, Roofit.Solar has been equal to the task of navigating it. “Even considering the market context of high interest and the real estate market cooling down, we have been able to grow quite a lot,” Anijalg says. “We’ve been building critical strategic partnerships with leading roofing companies, developing a more efficient new product that makes installation easier, and working on some smart tools for the management of energy consumption.”

To remain at the crest of the global solar wave, Roofit.Solar was kicking off an investment round in mid-February, aiming for 6 million euros of funding.

The money will go towards being better prepared for when the new EU net-zero regulations kick in, bringing product costs down, and reaching breakeven. All in a day’s work for this crew that believes you don’t have to compromise on design to be able to use solar energy. “​​Our purpose unites us,” Anijalg says. “We are working for a cooler future—in terms of temperature, as well as what future buildings will look like.”

Roofit.Solar won important design award. Photo: Roofit.Solar

Roofit.Solar won the iF Design Award 2024

Roofit.Solar is winner of this year’s iF Design Award, the world-renowned design prize. The winning product, NuClick, won in the discipline Product, in the Building Technology category.

NuClick won over the 132-member jury, made up of independent experts from all over the world, with its innovative Click-lock system. The competition was intense: almost 11,000 entries were submitted from 72 countries in hopes of receiving the seal of quality.

“The all-new Click lock technology enables rapid, cost-effective installation by regular roofers, ensuring a durable, low-maintenance roof with a long lifespan, superior weather resistance, and a Class A fire rating.” said the co-founder and CEO of Roofit.Solar, Andres Anijalg.

Roofit.Solar solar roofs can be found on prestigious buildings all over Europe. In Estonia, landmarks such as the University of Tartu, the National Library, and the Meremeeste Hospital, proudly feature our roofs, among many other renowned buildings.

In many cases, the Roofit.Solar black steel roof is the only available solution for heritage buildings where the preservation of the architectural style is crucial and standard solar panels are not permitted.

“We are very happy about this award. It is a well-known award in our field, and winning this is a sign of high quality and reliable product,” added Anijalg.

Each year, the world’s oldest independent design organization, Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH, organizes the iF Design Award. It honors design achievements in all disciplines: product, packaging, communication and service design, architecture and interior architecture as well as professional concept, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).


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