The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) believes that a stronger contribution from renewable heating and cooling can push Member States closer to their 2020 targets.
According to ESTIF’s annual overview on the European Solar Thermal markets for the 2015 year, the European solar market is currently facing a contraction of the newly installed capacity, representing a decrease of 6 percent in sales compared to 2014. The summary underlines the relevance of the renewable heating and cooling (RES-HC) sector and finds that a stronger contribution of RES-HC can push Member States closer to their 2020 targets and the European Union closer to reach the Energy Union goals.
“Solar heating and cooling still plays an important role in the European energy strategy, allowing for decentralised solutions to meet the heating and cooling demand in Europe, replacing the dependency on imported fossil fuels and creating local jobs” said Pedro Dias, ESTIF's Secretary General. “With four years left to achieve the 2020 targets, Renewable Energy Sources in Heating and Cooling (RES-HC) still offer a huge untapped potential that can be quickly deployed. Solar thermal applications, such as solar water heaters or solar heat for industrial processes, have demonstrated their competitiveness. At the same time, investment in solar thermal solutions helps to promote energy security, reducing energy imports and CO2 emissions while promoting local job creation.”
The report also shows that the implementation of the National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) for solar thermal energy is below target, confirming the last assessment made by the European Commission. This underachievement is evident even for countries such as Italy, Spain and France, which have a great potential for the deployment of solar thermal, if the right measures were in place.