The European Solar Heating and Cooling market grows by 8% in 2018

The European Solar Heating and Cooling market grows by 8% in 2018

Brussels, 13 December 2019 – In 2018, the European solar heat market has grown by 7.8%, reverting the trend of previous years.

2018 brought again the European solar heating and cooling sector back to the growth path, with a 7.8% increase of year-on-year sales. The installed capacity during 2018 experienced an increase of 2.4%, that accounts for 1.5 GWth, corresponding to 2.15 million square meters of solar thermal collectors, bringing the total installed capacity in Europe above the 36 GWth mark

Two years ahead of the 2020 milestone, with an estimated 10.1 million installed systems, solar thermal contributes to make millions of Europeans heat prosumers active in the energy transition. 

Total energy generation equivalent to Cyprus and Estonia annual heat demand 

The estimated total thermal energy generation of solar heating and cooling systems operating in Europe would be enough to supply the entire annual heat demand of both Cyprus and Estonia together. 

Turnover and employment  

In what concerns economic aspects, the solar heating and cooling sector achieved a combined turnover of €1.85 billion in 2018, employing approximately 18 800 people. 

Poland and Denmark experimented the greatest growth  

The most impressive development was observed in Poland (+179%), given the success of programs addressing air quality in cities and supporting the reduction of harmful emissions. The Danish market grew 77% thanks to the conclusion of ten large solar district heating projects during 2018. 

Germany, decreases, but continues as the largest European market  

The German market is still the largest in Europe, representing 26.7% of the totaleven though it has been dropping over the last years due to persistent low fossil fuel prices, lack of sufficient impulses stemming from political measures and increasing competition from other renewable technologies.  

Cyprus is the leader in south European countries 

Countries such as Greece, Spain or Portugal grew between 2 and 4% while Cyprus led the way with 14% increase. Cyprus is also the foremost country in terms of total installed capacity per capita, with 0.6 kWth installed per Cypriot (approximately 0.85 m2 of solar thermal collectors). 

The lowest prices are found in Greece 

In terms of consistent market growth, the biggest accolade goes to Greece, which grew for the 9th year in a row. This is also due to an increased competition among the Greek solar thermal manufacturers and the capacity to reduce product costs. In this market, solar water heaters can reach prices as low as €285/kWth (including energy storage) in retailers. 

About Solar Heat Europe:

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 20 European countries, Solar Heat Europe represents directly or indirectly over 90% of the industry, across the value chain. Solar Heat Europe also ensures that solar heat technology develop and grow in Europe through different actions such as providing information and statistics on the sector or by advocating for better regulation or encouraging the EU policy makers to shape a favorable environment for heating and cooling technology.



Pedro Dias, Secretary General
Tel: +32 2 318 40 60

Ana Alegre, Communications Assistant
Tel: +32 2 318 40 56

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