European solar thermal installations fall again in 2012; ESTIF calls for greater policy support

Germany (blue) represented more than 1/3 of the total EU solar thermal market in 2012, followed by Italy (brown)
Germany (blue) represented more than 1/3 of the total EU solar thermal market in 2012, followed by Italy (brown)

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has released its annual report on solar thermal markets in the EU, noting that new installations fell 6.4% year-over year to roughly 3.4 million square meters of collector area in 2012.

This is the fourth straight year of declines from a market peak in 2008. ESTIF notes that current and planned policy initiatives are failing, and predicts that solar thermal will fall far short of 2020 targets without more support.

“Support for solar heat, energy savings and renewable energy should be about a real level playing field in the market,” stated ESTIF President Robert Welling. “The 'energy transition' is a political choice implemented via public policies as energy policies always are.”


Larger EU problems impact solar thermal market

“Solar Thermal Markets in Europe” also notes that markets continue to suffer from the impacts of the continent's financial and economic crises, which has caused by a decline in the construction sector and reduction of public support programs.


German market stumbles

The German solar thermal market fell 9.4% in 2012 to 1.15 million square meters after a slight recovery in 2011. Despite this decline, Germany remains by far the largest European solar thermal market, with more than one-third of 2012 sales and nearly 40% of installed capacity.


Polish, Greek markets grow as leading markets decline

Other leading markets including Italy and Spain also continued their decline, however the Polish market grew 19% to 302,000 square meters to become the third-largest market in 2012.

And while the Austrian market fell in size, the French solar thermal market remained relatively steady, and the Greek solar thermal market grew for the third straight year.

At the end of 2012, installed European solar thermal totaled 40.5 million square meters of collector area, representing a capacity of 28.3 GW-thermal.


2013-06-25 | Courtesy: ESTIF | © Heindl Server GmbH

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