In 2012, the European market experienced a reduction in the overall newly installed capacity which amounted to 2.4 GWth (approximately 3.4 mio m²): a decrease of 6.4% in comparison with the previous year. The total installed capacity registered a net increase of 2 GWth, now reaching 28.3 GWth (40.5 mio m²). This represents an increase of 7.7% compared with the 2011 total installed capacity.
The European Union market continues to suffer from the constraints imposed by the financial and economic crises affecting most of the continent, resulting in a sluggish construction sector and reduction of public support schemes for solar thermal. The annual market has been contracting since the peak year of 2008. The 2.41 GWth sold in 2012 are well above the 2007 sales (2 GWth / 2.88 mio m²) but are a far cry from the 3.36 GWth (4.8 mio m²) reached in 2008.