EU Solar Energy Strategy:
The European Commission is planning to publish a new Strategy on solar energy by the end of the year and as part of the preparation, they have launched a public consultation on solar energy in the EU. This will most likely be the most important consultation for the solar thermal industry this year, as it will inform the Commission’s approach to solar energy in the future.
With the objective of increasing the EU’s share of renewable energy to 40% by 2030, as laid out in the most recent revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, the Commission is looking for the best course of action to achieve the required increase in solar energy capacity, namely Solar Thermal (ST), Photovoltaics (PV), and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).
This public consultation, consisting of a call for evidence and a questionnaire, is a great opportunity to provide the Commission with input on the developments and potential of solar thermal systems and storage, representing also a great opportunity to highlight which bottlenecks and barriers are hampering the deployment of solar heat. As part of this process, the European Commission is also organizing a High-Level Event on the topic. This event will be held on the 29th March and counts on the participation of SHE’s President, Costas Travasaros, as speaker.
Within this context, Solar Heat Europe (SHE) has been holding several meetings with the European Commission (DG ENER) to discuss the current and potential impact of solar thermal for a stronger European solar energy market and a decarbonised society. While the process is ongoing, the Commission seems very open to receiving input from the industry in order to give solar thermal energy a more prominent role in the transition.
Given the importance of this consultation, we urge all SHE’s members to fill in the public consultation, which will stay open for comments until the 12th of April 2022. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance. SHE will also circulate the proposal for its contribution, for members to comment and to take into account in their replies if desired.
Solar Thermal Industrial Strategy:
While giving input to the public consultation on Solar Energy, SHE will also be launching a broader process to develop an overarching Solar Thermal Industrial Strategy (STIS). Its aim is to highlight the benefits of ST, set targets for the sector, improve the business environment for a competitive solar industry, and remove barriers to the uptake of solar thermal technologies.
In order to ensure reliable and up to date data and forecasts, SHE will be working in close cooperation with the members in order to develop this industrial strategy. The initial proposal for this strategy will soon be shared with the members for consultation. An advanced version of this strategy will be used as input for the EU Solar Energy Strategy consultation in the first week of April.
The STIS will be opened to be co-signed and advocated for by our partners and will be launched during Solar Heat Europe’s 30-Year anniversary celebration in June 2022.
More information and updates about the EU Solar Strategy and the Solar Thermal Industrial Strategy will be made available on SHE’s website: http://solarheateurope.eu/policy/european-solar-strategy/