Provisional figures for the EU solar thermal market 2007

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After four years of very dynamic growth, the European solar thermal (ST) market registers a 10% decrease in sales in 2007. Many factors contributed to a 33% decline of Germany’s market. ESTIF urges policy makers to implement solar obligations to speed-up the market penetration of solar thermal.

“We have seen very positive trends in some countries, but a dramatic decline in the German solar thermal market”, says Gerhard Rabensteiner, President of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF).” For us, this means: We need to make the benefits of solar thermal clearer to the consumers. And we urge policy makers to put an end to stop-&-go support. The industry needs a stable support framework for solar thermal”.

Due to the unusual market development, ESTIF publishes provisional market estimations for 2007 already before the end of the year. The final market statistics for 2007 will be published, as usual, in June.

After four years of very dynamic growth, the European solar thermal (ST) market registers a decrease in sales in 2007. The reason for this lies in the strong market reduction in Europe’s largest solar thermal market, Germany. Many other markets continue to enjoy double-digit growth rates, leading to a heterogeneous picture of the European market development. The dramatic decline of the German ST market, that dropped by at least 33% in 2007, was in line with the general development of the overall heating equipment market, that declined by 40-50% due to a series of reasons discussed below. Good two digit growth rates are being registered in France, Italy and Spain, while Greece grew moderately and Austria is expected to stagnate in 2007, though at the highest per capita level in continental Europe. For 2008, the solar industry expects a return to growth, with accelerated growth especially in the Mediterranean countries. Also in Germany growth is expected, though it will likely take more than one year to achieve the market size of 2006.

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