Solar thermal systems (STS) offer vast potential for use in manufacturing. Yet widespread STS uptake requires policy-making to create the right conditions. This IRENA/IEA-ETSAP Technology Brief provides technical background, analyses the potential and barriers for market growth, and offers insights for policy makers on this key renewable energy technology.
High upfront costs are a barrier to STS adoption, particularly for small or mid-sized companies. Large, energy-intensive industries are constrained by integration challenges, along with risk aversion and expectations of shorter payback times. From a government perspective, support for solar heating systems can be a substitute for fossil-fuel subsidies or tax breaks on energy prices in the industrial sector. Furthermore, government support can stimulate local STS manufacturing.
In recent years, much of the STS market has shifted from Europe to Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. This new market is served by experienced European companies as well as local companies that have succeeded in producing cheaper equipment of good quality.
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