When we consider the new Building and Energy Directives, we need to consider that they will not have an immediate impact on the Solar Heating and Cooling sector. These Directives are setting targets for the Member States for 2030, starting in 2021.
These Directives have some relevant measures regarding renewable heating and cooling and will support a strong implementation of these solutions over the next decade. However, when we consider the impact on the solar heating market for 2018, we would prefer to analyze the current political structure, which is still being implemented. As we approach the deadline, we can predict that the race to the 2020 targets for renewables can still have a positive impact on some European markets, particularly in countries that are struggling to meet their 2020 target.
For some years now, the solar heating sector has faced a market contraction, but some encouraging trends have emerged and it will be interesting to observe them for the development of this sector. It is even more evident that thermal storage will play an important role in the energy system, balancing production and demand for thermal variables, allowing the integration of different renewable resources, both thermal and electrical. With incomparably lower costs than energy storage, thermal storage will be more than a technological enabler, it will be a political enabler as it allows flexibility in the choices towards decarbonised heating.