Press Releases EU solar thermal manufacturers urge public authorities for clear policy signals to accelerate renewable-based heat decarbonisation 

EU solar thermal manufacturers urge public authorities for clear policy signals to accelerate renewable-based heat decarbonisation 

Brussels, 28 June 2024 – On the occasion of its General Assembly meeting in Brussels, the solar thermal industry released today the 2023 market report. While reporting 1.8 million m2 of newly installed capacity of solar thermal collectors across Europe, the sector calls for an acceleration of measures by public authorities with clear and constant policy signals and incentives for solar heat, a clear option to provide efficient, resilient and EU-made energy source for buildings and industrial users.  

Eleven million rooftops are already equipped with solar thermal collectors in Europe, delivering 41GWth of clean energy harnessed from the sun’s free energy.

This report released today by Solar Heat Europe provides ample details about the market developments: “The momentum which we saw in the market in 2022 towards more energy security whilst progressing towards our Paris Agreement objectives seems to have been lost over 2023” deplored Valérie Séjourné, Managing Director of Solar Heat Europe. “Like other renewable heat sectors, we are observing a too slow growth of the total installed capacity of our technology in Europe so far”.

Ranging from +70% market growth in the UK to a + 8 % growth in France and a -43% decline in Germany vs 2022 due to an unfortunate counter effect of the Heat Law, the newly installed solar collectors in Europe saw yet a growth of + 1.8 million m2. This growth was supported by great projects commissioned in the large-scale markets. These include several solar district heating networks in Germany, Austria, as well as several projects for industry decarbonisation in different European countries, with the largest reaching 11 and 30MWth, in France and Spain, respectively.

While we have seen different market dynamics across countries and market segments, the pace of heat decarbonisation is a far cry from what Europe needs in order to reach its climate and energy security targets, particularly when many companies manufacturing such technologies are EU-based SMEs!”, Valérie Séjourné concluded.

Key report highlights
•    41GWth of cumulative capacity currently operational in Europe.
•    A total installed capacity increase of + 0.6% in 2023.
•    An overview of solar heat market segments and related EU policy landscape for: residential buildings, tertiary buildings, district heating, and industrial applications.

Looking ahead, the Solar Thermal sector welcomes the Fit for 55 package as this one offers clear signals to the 27 Member States for the uptake of renewables with the RED and EED targets, the requirements for municipalities to provide Heating & Cooling Plans, the Solar Mandate in EPBD, the provision for Clean and Efficient District Heating by 2050, the ETS for industry decarbonisation, etc.

All these measures must really be implemented rapidly to give to heat the visibility it deserves and to give to solar thermal the support it deserves, through constant, predictable market signals enabling our companies to grow and help Europe meets its 2050 ambition” said Guglielmo Cioni, Solar Heat Europe President.  “Our sector supplies resilient, off grid, EU made and reliable heat. We urge policy makers at national level to give it clear support as ALL renewables are needed in this race towards climate neutrality and ALL must be equally supported for a resilient and successful energy transition. Heat is half of our energy needs, and solar thermal can meet a great part of these needs. We look forward to also working with the incoming Members of the European Parliament and the future Commission towards these goals, in line with our ‘Solar Heat is SMART’ Manifesto calls” he concluded.



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