Over the past four years, the European market for solar thermal systems (STS) is enjoying interest from policy makers, market participants and end users. In addition to the potential for growth in this market, “the key driver for the market in Europe is government support for STS in the form of financial subsidies, tax credits, and regulatory reforms,” remarked Hammam Ahmed, Frost & Sullivan research analyst.
Case in point: the Italian market experienced a large amount of growth after the government sponsored subsidies for STS, while the German market declined significantly following a interruption in subsidies and recovered only when they became available once again. However, the cost of an STS system is quite high no matter what incentives are available. In countries where energy prices are already low the investment doesn’t seem worth it, especially when the recoup period can be up to 20 years.
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In countries suited for STS, however, a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Solar Thermal Heating Systems Market, finds that the market earned revenues of over €958.9 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach €2.2 billion in 2014. To aid this process, Frost & Sullivan suggest that companies develop effective, low-cost solar thermal systems, though this is already likely to happen given escalating competition.