Let it shine, let it power, let it heat…
Let’s share it – Heat’s obvious! 😊
Solar Heat Europe is glad to team up with Solar Power Europe and many other partners on the occasion of the European Solar Day, taking place during the Summer Solstice on 21 June 2023. The Summer Solstice is the day with the longest period of daylight and the shortest night of the year when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky! This makes it the day when solar technologies can deliver their best potential, supplying energy to millions of citizens in Europe and the rest of the world for a maximum of time!!!
What are the different Solar technologies (power/heat)? What is Solar Thermal and where can it be used? See our video here!
The solar thermal technology…
- can help address heating & cooling needs, which account for 50% of all the energy demand!
- applies to many applications: from individual houses to commercial buildings, to district heating, and industry.
- is a ready-to-deliver solution, using the free energy from the sun, and is a 100% CO2-free technology.
- is extremely efficient in terms of yield: the same energy output can be provided compared to PV using 3 times less space. But we like to share rooftops as we deliver different things 😊!
- can offer storage solutions, also seasonal storage where the heat accumulated over summer months, can be used during winter.
- can easily be « coupled » with other renewable technologies (e.g. heat pumps, geothermal, biomass) increasing their efficiency.
- relies on a very dynamic pool of companies, many of them SMEs, which are EU-based and have production capacity in Europe, and are net exporters worldwide.
Did you know that ….
…the first European Solar Days were initiated by the Solar Thermal Association in Austria back in 2002? They were then replicated in several other countries, supported by 2 European projects during the period 2008-2016. At its peak, the European Solar Days involved more than half a million European citizens attending 6 000 local events in 20 countries! Now, in collaboration with Solar Power Europe and other partners, we are excited to revive this remarkable initiative and once again promote the incredible benefits of solar energy for a brighter and more sustainable future.
More facts & figures on Solar Thermal
Did you know that …
- Households account for 67% of the energy (heat) demand. Consumers have therefore a key role to play when assessing the opportunity to change or adapt their heating systems! Look for the energy label on your (future) water and space heater to guide your choice!
- Solar thermal systems are already equipped on 10 million rooftops in Europe.
- Solar Thermal systems can easily be “plugged” into your boiler (e.g. gas or heat pump), making it even more efficient, and relieving pressure on it (or on the grid if you use a heat pump)!
- A solar thermal system can provide 70%* of the hot water needs in a household.
- A solar thermal system on a house has the same effect on the climate as planting 140 trees or removing one car away from the road?
- A solar thermal system on an individual house provides enough hot water for 2000 showers a year*?
- A solar thermal system on an individual house provides enough energy to run 2500 washloads or 1600 dishloads*?
- The top countries with solar thermal use in buildings so far (in terms of highest penetration / 1000 inhabitants) are Cyprus, Greece, Austria, Denmark, and Germany.
- That buildings, especially commercial ones such as commercial centers, swimming pools, hotels, or hospitals, are also using PVT panels, which produce both heat and power/electricity, making therefore optimal use of the sun for both applications!
For District Heating utilities:
Did you know that…
- 264 cities and towns in Europe already use solar thermal in their District Heating
- Denmark is the country in Europe with the highest number of District Heating networks using solar thermal: 126 exist there, representing a total energy generation capacity of 1 125 MWth!
- The biggest solar field for ST is based in Silkeborg, Denmark, with 110 MWth , which corresponds to 156 694 m2 of solar collectors
- In 2022, Germany was the country with the highest number of solar thermal plants 25 new large-scale projects in the pipeline
- Each location needs to work on its decarbonisation plan based on the most readily available technologies accessible in its area, be it geothermal, biomass, waste heat, heat pumps, and of course, solar thermal… which can easily be “plugged” into any of these technologies. Let’s make the most of these sources to decarbonize DH smartly.
- Solar Heat Europe is working closely with EuroHeat & Power, the European association representing the District Heating & Cooling sector, to join forces and facilitate the decarbonisation of their 17000 networks in Europe… and help the creation of new carbon-free networks!
For Industrial actors:
Did you know that…
- Solar thermal technologies can provide heat from 30° up to 400°C
- Specific technologies and/or collectors will be used according to the needs, from non-concentrated to concentrated ones (for the highest temperatures)
- The following sectors are excellent candidates to use solar thermal; chemicals, textile, food and beverage, pulp and paper, greenhouses, plastic… etc
- The company/service provider will work closely with you, analysing the needs of the sector and the specific factory, and advising on the best technology and storage to fit your needs. Services can go from the supply of collectors to the complete delivery of “Heat as a Service”…
- Have you heard of solar rooftops? Colgate-Palmolive takes this idea to a new level using concentrating solar thermal collectors on the rooftop of their production plant located in Athens.
- Many projects are existing in Europe and beyond, demonstrating that the technology works well: from Martini & Rossi (I,3 MWth), to Mol Freesia (NL, 10,5 MWth) or Boortmalt Group (Croatia, 20 MWth), and Heineken (Spain, 30 MWth)…to name a few!