The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has recently changed its name to Solar Heat Europe and developed a new corporate identity. It represents the interests of the solar thermal sector at EU institutions and is home to around 50 European solar thermal manufacturers, national industry associations, research institutes and service providers. Solar Heat Europe’s headquarters are in Brussels, where a team of four strives to advance solar heat solutions. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with President Robin Welling about the purpose of the rebranding effort. Welling is Managing Director of Austrian collector manufacturer and system supplier Tisun and has been President of ESTIF since 2010.
Solarthermalworld.org: Just recently, ESTIF has changed its name to Solar Heat Europe and created a new corporate identity. What has prompted this change?
Welling: Throughout its existence, ESTIF has brought together stakeholders from the solar thermal sector, has promoted their interests under one umbrella and has been a driving force behind the popularisation of solar heat in Europe. To facilitate industry representation and strengthen the market position and popularity of solar heating and cooling among members of European institutions, we intended to project a fresh and reinvigorated image. It was the primary motivation for kicking off a member debate about rebranding ESTIF. The outcome of this process is now there for all to see: Solar Heat Europe, launched this July.
This final solution will also help market participants and politicians to be more aware of the difference between solar thermal and PV. We wanted to make clear that solar thermal or solar heat has its own distinct identity. The name had to be more illustrative of our sector than an acronym such as ESTIF. It’s been a trend among other European trade association as well – including the renewable ones.