The Solar thermal sector stands ready to play its role as a Net-Zero Strategic Industrial Sector
Brussels, 17thMarch 2023 – The Solar heating and cooling sector welcomes the European Commission proposal for a Net-Zero Industry Act. The proposed measures are essential for a competitive, secure and affordable energy supply in Europe, providing relevant instruments and signals to Member States and investors, that will support solar thermal to further expand its European manufacturing base and deliver significant CO2 savings.
A strong, ready to deliver, EU-based sector…
Solar thermal makes a critical contribution to achieving EU’s objectives of climate neutrality, energy security, and affordability, offering a fully renewable and carbon-free energy supply to citizens and businesses. The solar heat sector sees in the new measures an important instrument to continue growing its capacity, going beyond the existing 10 million solar thermal rooftop systems in Europe and expanding further also in large scale solar thermal applications for industry and district heating networks. With a strong manufacturing base spread all over Europe, providing tens of thousands of local jobs, this sector supplies over 90% of the current EU demand for solar thermal systems, whilst being also a net exporter globally.
The Net-Zero Industry Act will therefore play a key role in promoting the sector further, maintaining the European solar thermal industry’s domestic leadership and strengthening its global competitiveness.
…that must maintain its leadership in Europe
In the next few years and up until 2050, the sector will undergo a robust expansion and is expected to more than triple by 2030, reaching 140 GWthof installed capacity by 2030, in line with the Commission’s projections indicated in the EU Solar Energy Strategy.
It is therefore vital that the EU manufacturing base expands accordingly, using its strong leadership in terms of quality and standards to maintain a clear edge in the European market, and compete with non-EU producers at global stage.
A committed sector
“In this time of crisis, the Solar Heat sector is committed to support all European efforts to tackle the challenges of energy decarbonisation, security, and affordability. Hence, we look forward to the legislative adoption and implementation of the measures proposed in the Green Deal Industrial Plan and the Net-Zero Industry Act to further unfold our industry’s potential. Solar Heat Europe and its members will be active and constructive partners with all stakeholders in the upcoming discussions on these key initiatives”, stated Costas Travasaros, President of Solar Heat Europe.
For more information
- A growing market supporting energy security and decarbonisation:
With 40 GWthof installed capacity by 2021, solar heat makes a vital contribution to Europe’s decarbonisation, energy security and affordability. By 2030, it can reach 140 GWth, in line with the Commission’s target to triple solar thermal capacity set in the EU Solar Energy Strategy.
- EU based sector:
The solar thermal industry has a well-established manufacturing capacity in Europe, holding technology sovereignty and providing over 18.000 direct jobs.
Besides supplying the majority of the European demand, it has a positive trade balance, with a surplus of hundreds of millions yearly.
- Small- and large-scale applications:
With over 10 million installations, solar heat represents a long-established solution in the residential sector and in recent years is experiencing an impressive growth also in large-scale applications for district heating and industrial processes. Solar thermal large-scale systems are growing in number and size, with several plants over 20 MWth being built in different parts of Europe, such as the Netherlands, Croatia, or Spain.
- Largest storage capacity among all renewables:
More than 20 million EU citizens already benefit from energy storage, a default element of their solar thermal installation. In 2021, the thermal energy storage (TES) capacity of the solar thermal systems installed in Europe amounted to 190 GWh, offering an enormous potential for demand-side flexibility and sector integration.
 Energising-Europe-Solar-Heat-STroadmap2030.pdf (solariseheat.eu)