From 2011 to 2050, the world population is expected to rise from 7 to 9 billion people. By 2020, Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB) will be a standard for new constructions. Urban development strategies also need to address energy consumption in cities and carbon emissions through improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. The adoption of an integrated sustainable design approach and a Solar Design philosophy should follow, and the widespread implementation of building-integrated and urban solar generation (micro and distributed) should be anticipated.

The three scientific themes around which the project is structured derives from present deficiency in skills, knowledge and experience to overcome the significant challenges of solar energy (photovoltaic and thermal) deployment in the complex environments that are cities. This structuration enables a large scale and reasoned developments of solar energy through urban energy planning and the elaboration of business models associated with decentralized energy generation by multiple actors.