Brussels, 21 December 2020 –The European solar heat market has grown by 2.5% in installed capacity in 2019 and 3.4% on year-on-year sales. The sector has been growing its cumulative capacity continuously for over 4 decades and there are over 10 million solar thermal systems installed in Europe today.
Growth in total installed capacity
At the end of 2019, the total solar thermal installed capacity has reached 37 GWth, corresponding to a total area of 52.9 million square meters. Among the top ten European markets, the highest increase in cumulative capacity was observed in Denmark and Poland, with around 10% growth.
Growth in annual sales
The annual sales have increased again in 2019 by 3.4%, reaching 1.59 GWth, corresponding to over 2.27 million m2 of solar thermal collectors installed. This growth follows a growth of 2.4% in 2018. From the top European markets, those showing the largest growth were Denmark, with an increase of 174% – totalling 137 MWth(196 000 m2) – and the Netherlands, with a 44% increase (35 MWth / 50 000 m2). Among Southern European countries, the main market, Greece, has grown 10%, corresponding to annual sales of 253 MWth (361 000 m2).
Germany, the largest European market
The largest European market remains the German one, which experienced growth of 0.5% in installed capacity and a decrease of 11% in annual sales. This market has seen mainly an impact on combi-systems (used for both space and water heating). Though preliminary 2020 data indicates a substantial growth in this market, reverting the previous trend.
More jobs, less CO2 emissions
In terms of economic impact, the solar heating and cooling market has achieved an increased turnover of 1.9 billion Euros in 2019, representing up to 20 000 jobs. The market also brought substantial environmental benefits, as the 26 TWhth energy generated annually represents the equivalent of 7 MtCO2 savings per year.
Among the top 5 most deployed renewables, both in Europe and globally
Solar thermal for heating and cooling is one of the main renewable energy sources (RES) in Europe and globally, in terms of cumulated capacity and annual energy generation. The total installed capacity globally amounted to 442 GWth in 2018, corresponding to an energy generation of 363 TWhth. In Europe, there are 37 GWth of cumulative capacity for solar thermal energy, generating 26 TWhth in 2018. This makes it, together with bioenergy, hydro energy, wind and solar photovoltaics, the main renewable energy solutions in the market.
One of the most competitive renewable energy sources
Solar thermal provides energy at the lowest costs among all RES. It can compete with direct electrical heating solutions and some solutions can even compete with gas, even without considering costs associated to externalities from those sources, such as CO2 emissions or other.
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About Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF
Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF’s mission is to achieve the prioritisation and acceptance for solar heat as a key element for sustainable heating and cooling in Europe and to work for the implementation of all necessary steps to realise the high potential of solar heat. With members in more than 15 European countries, Solar Heat Europe represents directly or indirectly over 90% of the industry, across the value chain.
Pedro Dias, Secretary General
Tel: +32 2 318 40 55
Alexandra Sutu, Communications Assistant
Tel: +32 474 94 09 81