#SolarThermal or #SolarHeat: Which of these two Twitter hashtags or keywords better represents the production of thermal energy from sunlight? Because of some recent, large concentrating solar power (CSP) projects, the term solar thermal seems to be in frequent use on social networking sites, although for plants that generate electricity only. This is why the main tweeters about the solar thermal sector have agreed on using #SolarHeat instead.
Photo: Riccardo Battisti
As reported in an article published on this website in April 2016, three major SHC organisations – Solar Heat Europe (formerly ESTIF), the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) and solarthermalworld.org – agreed to use four hashtags when communicating on Twitter. While #SolarThermal seemed to work out quite well regarding general information about the technology, there were also some specific hashtags for individual applications, such as #SolarProcessHeat, #SolarCooling and #SolarDistrictHeating. During the last three years, however, the sector underwent many changes, and although it looks as if the specific tags have remained relevant, the general one required an update.
Switching to #SolarHeat: Why?
Solarthermalworld.org is always on the lookout for solar thermal news items and organisations on Twitter and while searching, it became obvious that #SolarThermal was increasingly being used to tag CSP projects. The feedback on these, especially a couple of big ones designed over the last two years, could easily drown out tweets about actual solar thermal projects on the platform.
This was the main reason for switching to a keyword that is unlikely to describe other technologies. Among various options, #SolarHeat seemed to be the most appropriate, since it refers to the final use of produced energy and is easily distinguishable from hashtags promoting projects and plants for producing electricity. Two years ago, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) had shown the way by rebranding itself Solar Heat Europe, with the result, once again, of a more clear and concise terminology in the sector.
At the same time, the three organisations concluded that the three technology-specific hashtags which had been introduced 2016 still work well and recommended their use throughout Twitter.
Even though the solar heating and cooling sector has certainly increased its visibility on various social media platforms, and on Twitter in particular, there is still much work to be done to gain better momentum and to get access to large Twitter channels focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. This is why all three invite every renewable energy stakeholder to make the above hashtags part of their social media presence.
The article was written by Riccardo Battisti, a solar thermal consultant and market researcher working at Ambiente Italia (Rome, Italy).
Organisations mentioned in this article:
Solar Heat Europe: http://solarheateurope.eu/
IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme: https://www.iea-shc.org/