Celebrating the past, looking to the future!

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) marks its 10th anniversary and elects a new Board of Directors

Brussels, 5 December 2012 – On 29 November, ESTIF held a reception to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The following day a new board of directors was elected at the General Assembly in Brussels.


One of the main aims behind the creation of ESTIF in 2002 was the adoption of a single Europe-wide certification scheme for solar heating collectors. This was successfully achieved a year later with the development of the quality mark "Solar Keymark" within the framework of CEN, Comit Europen de Normalisation (European Committee for Standardization) and supported by the ALTENER programme of the European Commission. Today, there are more than 2000 Solar Keymark licensed solar heating collectors and systems.

Over the past ten years, the scope of ESTIF's work has widened to ensure the visibility and promotion of solar heating across Europe. For these key objectives to be realized, ESTIF is involved in many areas of activities, such as standardization, research, innovation, market statistics, framework conditions for solar heat and incentive schemes.

The European solar thermal market has developed considerably during this period, reaching an historic peak in 2008, when it grew by 60% to 3.3 GWth of new capacity (4.75million m2 of collector area). As indicated in the Solar Thermal Action Plan published in 2007, the target for 2020 is to reach 1m2 of collector area for every European!

Speaking at ESTIF's ten year anniversary reception, ESTIF President, Robin Welling, said: "The work done by ESTIF as a solar heating industry association has played a crucial role in the evolution of both market and industry. I firmly believe that the industry must support associations and even increase its commitment at a time when developments in the market could lead to disengagement".

Mr Welling, TiSUN GmbH Managing Director, was elected for a second mandate at the ESTIF General Assembly held in Brussels on 30 November. Two directors were re-elected on this occasion, Jos Antonio Prez from the heating multinational BDR Thermea and Harald Drck from the Stuttgart-based research and test institute ITW.

Three new directors are joining the Board of Directors: Lothar Breidenbach, Technical Director of BDH (Bundesindustrieverband Deutschland Haus-, Energie- und Umwelttechnik e.V.), the German Heating Industry Federation; Peter Gawlik, Managing Director of Sonnenkraft Deutschland GmbH, the major brand of General Solar Systems, a subsidiary of the Danish group SolarCAP and Jrg Mayer, Managing director of BSW (Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft e.V.), the German Solar Industry Association.

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