As part of the work for the Solar Thermal Industry Pledge launched this year, Solar Heat Europe organised on Tuesday, November 17th, the workshop: Pushing #SolariseHeat forward.
The event’s objective was to bring the signatories community together, offering updates on the results achieved so far and best practices in terms of advocacy at the national level, as well as creating the space for an open debate with relevant topics that are influencing the solar thermal sector. The one-hour workshop had around 50 attendees and 3 guest speakers, leaving space for interventions from the audience during the open debate.
Highlights of the Solar Thermal Industry Pledge & next steps
The workshop started with a quick update on the pledge, highlighting the dissemination results we achieved so far, such as the reach out to European and national policymakers engaged through 29 letters, or the engagement of media stakeholders with 7 press releases and more than 20 media mentions that resulted from it.
Advocacy best practices at the national level
The three examples were presented by Panayis Konstantinidis, General Manager at Calpak, Amelie Veenstra, Policy Director at Holland Solar, and Edwige Porcheyre, Project Coordinator at ENERPLAN.
The Greek example – Panayis Konstantinidis talked about a recent study launched by a former Energy Minister in Greece, which is stating 10 policy measures needed for the 2030 targets achievement by the country, and the fact that solar heat is one of them (exemplified with infographics from the pledge). He also made a comparison of the sector’s visibility in 2014 and the one today, indicating how the pledge helped in bringing a clear message on the solar heat technology.
The Dutch example – Amelie Veenstra focused on the importance of bringing knowledge & interest for solar heat, while sharing some of the activities of Holland Solar, such as the national “Program Natural Gas Neighbourhoods” they are involved in, and the roadshows and campaigns that are planned to spread the message about the technology’s benefits at the local level.
The French example – Edwige Porcheyre presented the achievements ENERPLAN had while doing advocacy for solar heat and working in synergy with the pledge, and one major success was the recovery plan with an extended incentive scheme effective since October.
The open debate
Different topics were addressed during the debate and some interesting perspectives were brought to the table, both by the guests and the audience. The advantages and disadvantages of solar thermal being combined with different other technologies, thermal storage capacity as a selling point, or how could we get more attention from policymakers in the context of the major focus on electrification and low-prices for gas were some of the topics of discussion.
What is next for the pledge?
Being loud together – send us your testimonial
To continue improving the solar thermal sector’s visibility, we are launching an open call for video testimonials. These should be sent by signatories of the pledge and should refer to their experience with #SolariseHeat: why have they joined the pledge and what do they think can be the contribution to the economic recovery in Europe.
These testimonials aim at bringing a personal experience into the light and to humanize our message. The videos will be promoted on the website of the pledge and on SHE’s social media channels.
Look at the testimonials that are available now and reach out to us to align on the guidelines for your testimonial.
The pledge gathered more than 200 signatories from 28 European countries, building a community of entities that are uniting their voices to make the solar thermal sector more visible. The pledge is a key tool in raising awareness at all levels by reaching out to policymakers and asking for the proper support that will amplify the sector’s capacity to accelerate the EU’s energy transition.
Since we launched the pledge, we took advantage of different strategic European events to make our sector’s commitment to the Green Recovery known, and we want to keep building on the success of this initiative together with you.