June 26, 2009 | 1 Comments
Brussels, Belgium [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The Solar Thermal Industry is looking confidently toward the future following a strong performance in 2008, when the European market grew by 60%. This, despite the difficult economic condition around the world, according to new numbers relesed by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF).
“In 2008, solar thermal heating and cooling solutions gained favour in more and more countries,” said Olivier Drücke, ESTIF's president. “The solar thermal market in the EU and Switzerland grew by over 60% to 3.3 gigawatts-thermal (GWth) of new capacity, i.e. 4.76 milion m² of collector area."
While demand for solar thermal technologies increased strongly in Spain, Italy and France, the biggest push came from the German market which more than doubled, from 0.7 GWth to 1.5 GWth.
Austria is still ahead per-capita in continental Europe. With a total capacity in operation of 273 kilowatts-thermal (kWth) per 1000 inhabitants, it trails only world leader Cyprus which achieved 623 kWth per 1000 inhabitants at the end of 2008.
To hear more about the industry's prospects, play the video interview with Olivier Drücke below.