A week before Intersolar Europe opens its doors in Munich,
ESTIF- the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation -
releases latest market statistics and trends
Brussels, 3 June 2010 - Following an outstanding growth in 2008, the
European solar thermal market decreased by 10% in 2009. For the second
year in a row, over 4 million square metres of solar panels were sold in
Europe. However, the outlook for 2010 remains uncertain as the financial
and economic crisis continues to have a negative impact on public
support and incentive policies for renewable heating and cooling.
2009 was a challenging year for the solar thermal sector in Europe. While still
the leader with an overall share of 38%, the German market contracted by 23%
Furthermore, the effects of the current economic downturn have been felt
most acutely in recently booming countries such as France, Spain and Italy.
However, the “solar thermal sector still outperformed a market environment
characterized by struggling building industries in many European countries and
the global economic crisis”, says Olivier Drücke, ESTIF President. Smaller
markets like Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom,
all below 200,000 m² newly installed capacity per annum, posted a double digit
growth in 2009. The Portuguese solar thermal market even experienced a
twofold increase due to a new financial incentive scheme.
Obviously fuel prices and economic activity have a significant impact on solar
thermal markets; however, our sector’s stability remains fragile being highly
dependent on the diversified and inconsistent support mechanisms available for
solar thermal technologies across Europe. Often, periods of strong growth are
followed by sharp downturns, a trend illustrated by the past two years with a
substantial increase of 60% in 2008 and a decrease of 10% in 2009.
Business in 2010 will hence be affected by the impact of the financial and
economic crisis on public support and incentive policies across Europe. I