My first take-outs after a few weeks in Solar Heat Europe…

My first take-outs after a few weeks in Solar Heat Europe…

Dear members, dear partners, dear policy makers, dear friends,

It is with great pleasure that I’m addressing you today in my first Solar Heat Europe newsletter, as the incoming Managing Director for the Association. After only a few weeks into the job and with my “fresh” eye to the solar thermal sector (as our President says), I have had the chance to meet quasi all members of the Association as well as the main related organisations with whom we work. This short editorial summarises herewith my key take-outs till now in a few key “P” words.

Passionate: This is indeed THE word that comes to my mind to describe our industry and its members. Whether “founders” of the solar thermal technology and in the sector for the last 30-40 years, or new companies and start-ups keen to work actively on the decarbonisation agenda, I see in the membership of Solar Heat Europe a sound technical expertise, with ready-to-deploy solutions for a very broad number of applications, from individual houses to commercial buildings, district heating, and industries, all keen to decarbonise their heating supplies. It is also fantastic to see that our sector has companies all over Europe, from Finland to Greece, and has a very strong European-based production capacity, employing already thousands of employees all over Europe and supplying 90% of the EU demand.

Policy: With the Green Deal by Ursula Von der Leyen in 2019, followed by the Fit for 55 Package in 2021, the RePowerEU and EU Solar Energy strategy in 2022 launched following the Russian aggression to Ukraine, not to mention the various COPs urging all actors to work on the ambition of the Paris Agreement, the indicators are all positive for the massive uptake or renewable energies. We are now at a critical turning point in the energy transition and our sector must benefit from this shift. It was really fantastic, the date after I joined, to see the Commission officially recognizing Solar Thermal as one of the Net-Zero industry sectors to help decarbonisation of the European Union. The credit for this goes to my colleagues in the Policy team who did an excellent job profiling us clearly there. We’ll continue working hard to help shape a favorable context for Solar Thermal to flourish, addressing the key questions of permitting, land availability, and skills to name just a few.

Profiling: This is indeed another word that comes to my mind when writing this editorial. Solar Thermal has a beautiful product, ready to be deployed, for many users. But we are not the only sector wanting to play its role in the energy transition. We cannot and will not go against the big trends, but we need to profile ourselves as relevant sources of energy, providing direct, secure, and cost efficient solutions, making some of those even more efficient. We have also beautiful existing cooperations with other sectors such as biomass, and geothermal to cite only those few with whom teaming up can also provide 100% renewable sources. Let’s find the smart way to positing ourselves and contribute with our fair share to the transition.

People: Last but not least, I wish herewith to thank the Board for their trust, but also to my colleagues, Pedro, Leopoldo, Saverio, and Alexandra for the nice welcome that they have offered me. We are a small but very dedicated team. Rest assured that we will continue the hard work and reach out to make Solar Thermal achieve its ambition to triple its installed capacity by 2030…and of course, I am counting on you as members to help us on this journey and remain open to work constructively and openly with all stakeholders. I very much look forward to meeting you at our General Assembly in Athens on 29 and 30 June, and possibly sooner as well at the upcoming conferences!

Thank you!

Valérie Séjourne

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