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France: Debate about Planned Tax Credit Reductions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 31, 2013
In 2013, all indicators are flashing red! According to the sales statistics from Uniclima, the French union for the heating, cooling and ventilation industry, the newly installed collector area is expected to shrink to around 200,000 m² in 2013. All three major segments of the market declined. Uniclima estimates hot water systems for single-family houses (CESI in French) to have dropped by 21% and combi systems for single-family houses (SSC in French) to have shrunk by 15%. For the first time after 2010, the segment of multi-family houses with larger solar thermal systems (ESC in French) seems to have also reduced in volume by 13%. The situation was quite different over the last two years, when the decline in the single-family housing market was offset by a strong increase in the multi-family building segment. 
Source: Enerplan for 2007 to 2011, Uniclima for 2012 and 2013

France: One Voice for Renewable Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 18, 2013

In France, players of solar thermal, geothermal, heat pumps and biomass founded the Alliance Chaleur Renouvelable (translated as Renewable Heat Alliance) in February 2013. "This network speaks with one voice when it comes to the demands and suggestions from the renewable heat industry," says Valérie Laplagne, Initiator of the project and Head of Renewable Energy at Uniclima, the French union for the heating, cooling and ventilation industry. Timing is critical: In November 2012, France launched its energy transition debate, which should result in an important law specifying the new French energy policy by autumn 2013. But after renewable heat players had noticed that renewable energies had been reduced to electricity in the debate, they created the alliance. It lobbies for solar thermal in the retrofit segment, because the solar heat market is currently dominated by new construction (see photo).
Photo: Barraco / Maison NF HQE BBC-Effinergie

France: High Solar Thermal Standing, But Shrinking Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 26, 2013

French people like solar thermal, but their wish to install a system seems to hardly come true. According to a recent survey among 1,008 persons, which was conducted by French survey company Ifop in January 2013, 5% claim to own a solar water heater and 4% a combined system for hot water and heating. Moreover, 17% of the interviewees are planning to install a solar water heater (vs 13% in 2012) and 16% a combined system (vs 12% in 2012). The target group of the survey was a representative mix of French adults in terms of sex, age, profession, region and living standard. The study, which had been commissioned by the certification body of companies in the renewable energy field, Qualit’ENR, also showed a high trust in solar technology: More than 80 % of the participants believe that solar thermal energy is a reliable technology – making it the ranking’s Number One, as the chart above shows. You will find the French Qualit’ENR summary PDFs from the beginning of January attached to this news piece.
Chart: Ifop

France: Influence of New Building Standards in 2013

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 19, 2012

The solar thermal industry in France looks with mixed feelings to next year. Certain system suppliers are convinced that the French building regulation RT2012 will push solar water heaters in the residential segment in 2013. In contrast, others are afraid that hot water heat pumps will make the race because electricity prices are still low and the heat pump lobby is well represented across the country. Together with the low-energy building label BBC, the previous RT2005 regulation have proven to be rather successful in the last three years and especially in 2012 with regard to solar thermal systems in multi-family houses. It is still unclear how the new regulation RT2012 will affect the implementation of this technology. The chart shows the steps that have been taken to ensure a zero-energy or energy-positive housing standard in new buildings in 2020.
Chart: homeenergypros.lbl.gov

France: Uniclima Study Predicts Stagnating Market in 2012

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 5, 2012

Uniclima, the French union for the heating, cooling and ventilation industry, presented its latest take on the French solar thermal market in 2012 at a press conference in Paris on 18 October. Compared to the previous year, the market remained, all in all, stable by the end of August 2012. Each type of solar thermal technology, however, took a very different path throughout the year. The Uniclima study that was carried out among the union’s members shows that the collector area installed for domestic hot water in residential buildings (“CESI” in French) decreased by 14 % over the first eight months of 2012. Combi systems, which deliver energy for hot water and space heating (“SSC” in French), again declined this year (-21 %). Only the sector of solar hot water for multi-family houses (“ESC collective” in French) showed an increase of 20 % compared to 2011 (find a summary of the study attached to this news piece).

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