Estec2009 – a meeting point for solar thermal experts in Europe: Around 400 representatives of associations, as well as manufacturers, politicians and researchers discussed trends, potentials and obstacles of the solar thermal sector. Photo: Bärbel Epp
The European solar thermal sector looks back at 2008 as being a very successful year. The collector area that was newly installed in the 27 member states in 2008, including Switzerland, adds up to 4.76 million m2 (3.3 GWth), according to the latest market statistics of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF). This means a growth rate of 60 %, in relation to the rather weak year of 2007.
This chart shows the dynamic development of the ten biggest markets in Europe without Germany. The figures in brackets behind the country names show the average growth rate during the last four years. Spain, Italy and France performed extremely well. Portugal and Belgium showed exceptional growth rates, but with a generally low level of market penetration. Source: ESTIF
The above-mentioned results derive from the ESTIF report “Solar Thermal Markets in Europe. Trends and Market Statistics 2008”, which was published at the European solar thermal conference estec2009 in Munich at the end of May. Solar heating technology is a major sector in Europe, with 40,000 employees and a turnover of more than €3 billion. Considering the long term prospects of the market, the sector is still on track for more growth. The European solar thermal market grew by an average annual growth rate of 35 % during the last three years.
Germany – the biggest market in Europe and the second largest in the world – experienced an extremely difficult year in 2007. Nevertheless, the market grew by an average 43 % each year since 2004. Source: ESTIF