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market development

Flat plate collector sales in China reach a record 6 million m2 in 2017

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 10, 2018
2017 saw again an increase in flat plate collector area in China. Newly installed flat plate collector area rose by 13 %, whereas vacuum tube collector area declined by 9 % (see the table at the end of this article). Estimates by CSTIF, the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation, put the size of the 2017 flat plate collector market at 6.03 million m2 (4,221 MWth). Jinheng Solar, a flat plate collector manufacturer based in Dezhou in Shandong province, responded to the positive development by expanding production capacity last year. The photo shows the company’s new automated production lines. 
Photo: BTE Solar / Jinheng Solar

Spain’s 2017 figures show increase in collector production despite declining market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 6, 2018
2017 saw the Spanish solar thermal market dropping by 5 % to 201,505 m2, or 141 MWth, but surpassing 4 million m2 overall, totalling 4,106,195 m2, or 2.87 GWth. The main reason for the downward trend had been the poor showing of regional support schemes, Spain’s solar thermal industry federation, ASIT, said. Still, economic growth is bolstering the construction sector, and a rising number of newbuilds might put the market back on track this year. In addition, the collector industry showed a 33 % increase, to 198,525 m2, in 2017. Most of the amount, 63 % to be precise, was exported.
Source: ASIT

India: Flat plates up, concentrating technologies down

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 1, 2018
Source: Jaideep MalaviyaIn 2017, India’s solar thermal market shifted heavily in favour of flat plate collectors, with systems based on concentrating technologies losing ground. The chart shows the annually installed flat plate collector area to have more than doubled last year compared to 2016. It went from 150,476 m² (105 MWth) to 397,286 m² (278 MWth) an increase by 164 %. Installation figures for solar water heaters based on imported vacuum tubes rose by 7 % to 1,120,963 m² (785 MWth). Concentrating collector sales, on the other hand, only added 5,450 m² to the total, a much lower value than the 26,040 m² in 2016. The reference period for the annual statistics was changed in 2016. It is now the calendar year, whereas it used to be the Indian financial year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March the following year.
Source: Jaideep Malaviya

Germany: Solar thermal loses out to other renewables

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 20, 2018
Wagner & Co2017 was the weakest year for solar thermal collector sales in more than a decade, according to the combined statistics by associations BDH and BSW-Solar. Their data reveals that only 78,000 systems were sold last year. The newly installed collector area added up to 625,000 m², down 16 % from 2016 and as much as 72 % from the boom year of 2008. It was an astonishingly poor showing, considering the strong growth in the construction industry and the high incentive amounts available in Germany.
Photo: BSW Solar / Wagner & Co

Indian manufacturers face strong competition from Chinese imports

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 20, 2018
Photo: Jaideep N. MalaviyaVacuum tube-based solar water heaters imported from China are posing a serious threat to the viability of domestic manufacturing in India. This was the key message from the STFI, the Solar Thermal Federation of India, at a mid-January consultation meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce. The committee had invited several stakeholders to attend the meeting to discuss the Impact of cheap Chinese consumer goods on the Indian industry. Nowadays, three of every four solar water heaters are imported from China, resulting in a loss of local employment.
Photo: Jaideep N. Malaviya

Thermosiphon market rebounds in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 16, 2018
Photo: Riccardo BattistiSystem suppliers and importers in Italy have reported significant growth in thermosiphon sales in 2017 thanks to the national support scheme Conto Termico 2.0. “Compared to the previous year, we more than doubled the number of thermosiphon units we sold in Italy in 2017, and most systems had a larger collector area because of the level of subsidies from Conto Termico 2.0,” said Export Sales Manager Andreas Andrianopoulos from Greek-based solar thermal manufacturer Cosmosolar. 
Photo: Riccardo Battisti

SHC industry roadmap for Australia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 8, 2018
Despite Australia’s high levels of solar irradiation and rising energy costs, its solar heating and cooling market has been in decline each year since 2010. The newly installed glazed and unglazed collector area went from a peak of 1.14 million m2 in 2009 (798 MWth) to 544,670 m2 in 2016 (381 MWth) – less than half of what it used to be. Reversing the downward spiral is the aim of an industry roadmap, titled Solar Heating and Cooling in Australia´s Built Environment, which was commissioned by ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and is currently under review. During an internal workshop in Abu Dhabi last November, Australian-based consultancy Coolgaia discussed the findings from the roadmap with solar cooling experts working on Task 53 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (see photo). 
Photo: Task 53

Lebanon´s success in driving down prices

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 1, 2018
Lebanon learning curveThe Lebanese solar thermal market has made great strides in bringing down the cost of solar water heating. Between 2010 and 2016, average system prices decreased by 43 %, from USD 1,880 to USD 1,313. This is one of the key findings presented by Tony Gebrayel, Energy Engineer at LCEC, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, during the Beirut Energy Forum in September 2017 (see the attached document). The reduction was achieved by stable sales of between 50,000 and 60,000 m² of collector area per year.
Source: LCEC

Three ways to read European market statistics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2018
Solar Heat EuropeThere is more than one way to read 2016’s market statistics published by Solar Heat Europe about 2 months ago. One could emphasise the great achievements made in reducing emissions and creating jobs in the solar heating and cooling sector in Europe. One could likewise point to Denmark as a leader in solar district heating. A third possibility would be to concentrate on the continued decline in most key markets in Europe and the stark difference between renewable heating targets and their fulfilment in many countries. You can download the 5-page brochure here.

CSTIF embarks on a journey of innovation and quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 25, 2018
CSTIF conference 2017CSTIF invited its members to the annual assembly, held in early December in Jinan, Shandong Province, to discuss the state of the market in China. Titled Innovation and quality: Embark on a journey into a new era, this event with around 400 members of the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation presented an opportunity for CSTIF’s Executive Director Xiaoli Zhang to announce the latest market figures. 2017 saw the installation of 37.23 million m² of collector area, a decline of 5.7 % compared to the year before. Still, the drop in sales was less than in 2016, when the market declined by 9 %. The total capacity in operation rose to 478 million m² (334.46 GWth).
Photo: CSTIF


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