Editorial – What will be the next steps of solar heat in this critical decade?

Editorial – What will be the next steps of solar heat in this critical decade?

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson

This comes to my mind when I see how politicians are reacting to the ‘punch’ of the current energy crisis. Will their plans to stop coal plants in the next years and all fossil fuels (including gas) by 2050 survive? Especially as they are already supporting financially electricity and gas and negotiate favorable conditions for gas and now even nuclear. What if the energy crisis will last till next winter? Events like this require modification and adaptability of the original strategy. Will we see policymakers taking decisive action? Until we find that out, we can have a look at our sector’s capacity to adapt to the recent developments in the market (pandemic, supply chains, and energy prices), and the Ordinary General Assembly (OGA) that will take place on Friday, December 3rd is the perfect occasion to come together as a sector and reflect.

This crisis can be an opportunity for the renewable heat sector and especially for solar thermal, to be properly supported and included in energy transition plans at all levels, as it is one of the solutions that doesn’t harm the environment in any way, providing clean and affordable energy for buildings, cities, and industries. And it is our responsibility to emphasize it externally.

Heat is half of the energy consumed and solar thermal is a key factor to decarbonize heat. Solar heat is more efficient, costs less, provides the best hybrid solutions, it’s already available and it can be applied now.

I believe the European Solar Thermal Industry is ready to form coalitions to amplify its messages and I also believe that with a united front, we are ready to upscale. As such, on behalf of Solar Heat Europe, I am inviting you to register and join the conversation for our sector’s future at the next General Assembly and the workshop that will take place right after.

As previously communicated by the Secretariat, this OGA edition will bring forward a vote on Solar Heat Europe’s statutes changes which will be supervised by a notary that will be present at the meeting, so it is of major importance to have the quorum for the approval of the proposed changes. Right after the official OGA, we will continue our online gathering with a co-creation space for the sector’s strategy for 2030 and 2050, followed by a session on the solar thermal market development in 2021 and expectations for 2022, including a debate on the implications of the crisis on energy prices. The event will be closed with Solar Heat Europe’s priorities report for 2021 and the plans for next year, including an important milestone for our sector, the 30th anniversary of the organization.

I look forward to our discussions in December and the next steps we will take together as a sector to increase the potential of solar thermal technology in Europe and beyond, during this critical decade.

Costas Travasaros, President of Solar Heat Europe

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