The Solar Thermal Systems market has changed considerably over the past few years as market shares spread into new countries. In 2003 close to 80% of the solar thermal market was in Germany, Greece and Austria. A few years later, Spain, Italy and France are now among the fastest growing markets.
LONDON - 25 November, 2008 - The Solar Thermal Systems (STS) market for hot water and heating has changed considerably over the past few years in Europe as market shares spread into new countries. In 2003, close to 80% of the solar thermal market in operation was concentrated in Germany, Greece and Austria. Just a few years later, these same countries only hold 55%, making room for countries like Spain, Italy and France that previously only held about 10% of the total market share each. Now France, Italy and Spain are among the fastest growing solar thermal markets in Europe.
"Within the past few years all circumstances are very encouraging for the continuation of the STS growth in the European market. This growth is no longer exclusively ensured by a few leading countries, such as Germany and Austria but by new countries like Spain, Italy, and France, and even Portugal and the UK," notes Frost & Sullivan Hammam Ahmed, Research Analyst.
Motivated by meeting their national and international commitments to decrease dependency on fossil fuel and create more jobs, many European governments are spurring on domestic markets through a number of incentive programmes, providing support for R&D, and raising public awareness. The solar thermal market is being increasingly supported by these governments. Financial incentives, lessoning the burden of petitioning for building permission are ways governments have been stimulating STS growth. At times European governments have gone as far as introducing new legislation that requires or goads installing solar systems in buildings, either under construction or being renovated. By softening regulations, governments will continue to have a positive impact in the long term.
Customer attitudes about solar thermal systems are also becoming more optimistic. The combination of solar thermal systems becoming more affordable and noticeably cutting customers' energy bills has improved the public perception of this technology. Public support is directly related to the growth of the STS market, as the largest sector is residential, especially single family homes which account for almost 80% of the total market. As the public continues to search for affordable and effective alternative energy, the residential sector will continue to grow as public support does.
Finally, over the past few years many solar thermal system manufacturers significantly increased their production. These expansions are not exclusive to solar thermal system manufacturers but also traditional heating suppliers are getting a piece of the action and including solar thermal systems in their range. In his research, Hammam Ahmed gives an example from the UK, where some boiler manufacturers are starting to include solar thermal system along with their products, as a supplement. This kind of promotion further propels the STS market forward.
In the past five years, the STS market has overcome a lot of change and even in the midst of a receding global economy seems unscathed. Considering all of the elements that shape the STS market, future growth is widely anticipated.
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