Policy

  • RES Directive

    In March 2007, the Heads of State and Government of the EU 27 countries adopted a binding target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable energy by 2020.

    In January 2008, the European Commission presented a draft Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) which contains a series of elements to create the necessary legislative framework for making 20% renewable energy become a reality.

    After the European Parliament and the Council agreed upon the RES Directive in December 2008, it entered into force in June 2009. If properly transposed into national law, the RES Directive will become the most ambitious piece of legislation on renewable energy in the world.

    Heating and Cooling from Renewable Energy Sources

    As far as heating and cooling is concerned, the RES Directive closes the legislative gap which existed so far for this sector. For the first time, heating and cooling - responsible for nearly half of Europe's energy demand - will be covered by a Europe Directive promoting renewable energies. Thus the RES Directive creates a positive climate for the long-term development of solar thermal technologies in Europe.

    Please click here to access the text of the RES Directive.

    The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs)

    Directive 2009/28/EC requires each Member State to adopt a national renewable energy action plan. These plans are to set out Member States’ national targets for the share of energy from renewable sources consumed in transport, electricity and heating and cooling in 2020 and adequate measures to achieve these targets.

    Each Member State is required to submit a National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) to the European Commission by 30 June 2010.

    To download the National Renewable Action Plan Template, please click here.

    For a proper transposition of the RES Directive into national law Ambitious national growth targets for solar thermal installed capacity by 2020 according to the specific potential and current market development of each Member State. To reach these targets, Member States should be required to implement renewable energy obligations for new buildings and for buildings undergoing renovation. The building sector is key to tackling the heating and cooling sector, which accounts for nearly half of the final energy demand in Europe.

    Furthermore, the NREAPs plans foreseen in the RES Directive proposal must encourage national, regional and local authorities to implement one or several additional instruments to promote solar thermal:

    • Financial incentives to investment or fiscal reductions. These measures should be targeted at non-obliged market segments – e.g. solar thermal for industrial processes – or for solar thermal installations in buildings which go beyond the minimum requirements of the renewable energy obligations for new and renovated buildings. These financial measures should be stable and long-term oriented, in order to build up confidence with investors.
    • Awareness raising campaigns supported by public authorities and focused to relevant target groups: end users (house owners, operators of high-potential applications such as hotels, swimming pools, collective buildings), architects, craftsmen (heating installers and roofers), building & construction industry
    • Support specific training for solar thermal technologies, focused on key professional actors: planners, architects, heating installers and roofers

    Key Dates

    30 June 2009 Publication of the template for the National Renewable Action Plans by the European Commission
    December 2009 Member States “forecast documents” on the scope of making or receiving transfers of renewable energy under the cooperation mechanisms
    30 June 2010 Member States must submit their National Renewable Action Plans to the European Commission
    25 December 2010 Completion of the Directive implementation by the 27 EU Members States
    2011 First biennial report of each Member State
    2012 First biennial report of the European Commission

    More information
    The European Commission has established an online portal, the so-called Transparency Platform, in order to present latest information on the RES Directive and its implementation at national level. Click here to access it 

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  • SOLPOOL Solar Energy Use in Outdoor Swimming Pools, Cyprus (2009)

    This report, made by Intelligent Europe and CRES, provides information on open-air pool heating in Cyprus and on different technologies that can be used to heat pools. The document contains relevant information such a listing of standards related to solar thermal heating, best practises...

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  • Holland Solar celebrates its 25th Anniversary

    Holland Solar celebrates its 25th Anniversary

    Celebrating 25 years of Holland Solar: Amersfoort won the award for the best solar thermal community in the Netherlands. The picture shows Pauline Sparenburg from the climate and energy administration of Amersfoort accepting the award at the celebration.
    Photo: Holland Solar...

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  • Potential of Solar Thermal in Europe (2009)

    This report from 2009 has been commissioned by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and looks into the potential of solar thermal in the European Union. The objective of the study is to provide the European Commission and the Members States with information on how solar thermal...

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  • Solar Energy in Spain in 2007: Current Status and Prospects

    This report from IDEA (Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía) provides an overview of the Spanish solar market in 2007 (including not only solar thermal, but also PV and thermoelectricity), in terms of technology, installed capacity, existing companies, the potential growth...

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  • Report CSP Workshop, South Africa (2009)

    This is the report of a CSP workshop, which took place in South Africa on 22 May 2009. The workshop results from the necessity to gather project developers, the government, NGOs and research centers to start a discussion on scaling up CSP.

    In South Africa, the development of CSP...

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  • Mediterranean Solar Plan 2010-2020

    Philippe Lorec, from the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development gave this presentation to introduce the Mediterranean Solar Plan 2010-2020, an initiative of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union presented during the Paris Summit of July 2008....
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  • Solar Thermal: “Potential Massively Underestimated”

    Solar Thermal: “Potential Massively Underestimated”

    The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recently published its Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) which includes solar thermal. This has provoked a strong response from the UK Solar Trade Association (STA) stating that DECC has “massively underestimated the potential of solar...

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  • Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group

    Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group

    Independent solar cooling specialists and lobbyists: Dr Paul Kohlenbach (left) initiated the Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group (ausSCIG) and Dr. Uli Jakob initiated the Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling e.V. in Europe. Together the two experts run the company Solem...

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