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SOLTHERM EUROPE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO INCREASE EUROPEAN SOLAR COLLECTOR MARKET BY 15 MILLION M2

Added: (Tue Jun 19 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The new Soltherm Europe Initiative has set out to realise 15 million square meters of solar collectors in Europe by 2004, which is equivalent to solar water heating systems for 3 million households. This challenge was set by the European Commission two years ago in its Campaign for Take-Off. To accomplish that mission, Soltherm Europe has united a number of European key market players. National campaigns will be launched, based on a decade of experience with market development.

Launch
The Soltherm Europe Initiative aims to increase the awareness of customers as well as to mobilise the complete production and installation chain. Based on more than ten years of experience with a number of market introduction projects in several countries, national campaigns will be started to boost the sales. In these campaigns, Soltherm Europe will especially involve the installers as they play an important role in the promotion of solar water heaters.
The Initiative has started to unfold its activities through the launch of the central website www.soltherm.org and its application to become a Renewable Energy Partner with the European Commission. A project proposal to support the Soltherm Europe Initiative has been submitted to the European Commission.

Market
Solar collectors are used for heating tap water, buildings and processes and are one of the most mature renewable energy options. At present, about 11 million square meters of solar collectors are installed in Europe, with an annual growth rate of about 1 million square meters per year. The objectives set in the European Commision White Paper on Renewable Energy are to have 100 million square meters of solar collectors installed by 2010. To reach that goal, a quick speed-up is necessary for the market to gain enough momentum. If 15 million square meters can be realised by 2004 on top of the existing area, the market growth will line up with the European White Paper goals. Beyond that short-term goal, the Soltherm Europe Initiative aims to provide the framework for further expansion of the solar heating market.

Policy
The contribution of renewable energies to the European energy balance and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is still modest, but growing at a fast pace. Analysis of the markets of different countries shows that an effective policy boosts the penetration of solar energy much more than favourable climatic conditions. This indicates that with an effective approach it is possible to quickly expand the market. The Soltherm Europe Initiative is designed to be the central catalyst to exchange the current experiences in the European countries and to use these as a base for national campaigns. Guidelines, tools and effective market strategies will be created, so that a comprehensive European approach is developed.

Partners
Initiated by Ecofys, an international renewable energy consultancy and research company, the Soltherm Europe Initiative consortium currently consists of the following European key partners: the European Active Solar Thermal Industry Group (Astig), the Climate Alliance, AEE and ESV (Austria), 3E (Belgium), DTI (Denmark), Ademe and RAEE (France), DFS and Berliner Energieagentur (Germany), CRES (Greece), Ambiente Italia (Italy), Ecofys and Novem (the Netherlands), ICAEN and Trama (Spain) and BRE (United Kingdom). Other partners will be invited to join the Initiative in due course.

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Annex: Company profiles of all partners

For more information please contact: R. Voskens or B. van der Ree, Ecofys, tel. +31 30 2808300, e-mail soltherm@ecofys.nl.

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Annex: Partners in the Soltherm Europe Initiative

The mission of Ecofys (the Netherlands) is: a sustainable energy supply for everyone. A cleaner environment and sustainability can be achieved by a more efficient use of energy and the use of renewable energy. Large-scale and economically feasible opportunities to realise this objective, exist already in various market sectors. It is from this point of view that Ecofys initiates projects, advises clients, works on better products, and conducts research for businesses, agencies and governments. Ecofys has a highly skilled international staff of some 150 professionals, working in the main office in Utrecht (NL) and offices in Cologne (D), Poznan (PL), Bristol (UK) and Belgium (joint venture with 3E). Offices in Spain and the US are being established. Ecofys is member of the Econcern Group.

3E NV (Belgium) is an independent engineering office specialised in renewable energy technologies. The main activities of 3E are project development, technical consultancy, strategy and policy studies as well as product development.

The Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME, France) is a state-funded public industrial and commercial establishment whose activites are supervised by the French government ministries in charge of research, the environment and industry. The Agency's mandates cover amongst others the promotion of renewable energy sources and clean and efficient energy technologies

The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Erneuerbare Energie-Institute for Sustainable Energy Technologies (AEE-INET, Austria) was founded in 1988 as an independent research association. Work emphasis is placed on the efficient use of energy and resources, and on the development of technologies and strategies that enable the quick and widespread use of solar technology as basis for an ecologically compatible supply of energy in the future.

Ambiente Italia (Italy) is a research and consultancy company operating in analysis and planning of natural and human environment. It has delivered Local Energy Plans and Technological reviews, analysed environmental benefits and economic profitability and undertaken feasibility studies and environmental impact studies and specific projects for energy saving and use of renewable energies.

The members of the Association of Solar Thermal Industries (ASTIG, Europe) represent a market share on the the supply side exceeding 50 percent of the EU solar heating market.

The Berlin Energy Agency (Germany), founded in 1992 by the State of Berlin, is an enterprise in the sense of a Public-Private-Partnership. The task of the Berlin Energy Agency is the determination and active detection of energy saving potentials in industry and commerce, service companies, housing agencies and public institutions. Thus the Energy Agency is mediator between energy policy and energy economics, with the principal subjects rational use of energy, promotion of combined heat and power systems, and use of renewable energies.

BRE (United Kingdom) provides independent consultancy, advice and tools to allow clients to maximise the performance of their constructed assets. It has over 75 years of expertise and a professional and technical staff of 550 persons located in the UK and Scotland. Since privatisation three years ago, BRE developed a commercial consultancy role, while retaining close links with government departments and agencies. BRE provides technical input to key government policy and legislative development.

The Climate Alliance (Europe) is a partnership between European local authorities and indigenous rainforest peoples with the goal of protecting the earth´s atmosphere. The 900 European member cities work jointly on drawing up and implementing climate protection action plans and cooperate with the indigenous partners to preserve tropical rainforests.

The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES, Greece) is the national co-ordinator of all Regional Agencies in Greece. Over the years, CRES has co-operated with a large number of public and private organizations, on a national as well as on a European and international level. These include R&D projects, demonstration projects, projects dealing with energy information systems, feasibility, technical and economic studies, market research, as well as promotional activities for the use of RES and RUE.

The Deutscher Fachverband Solarenergie (DFS, Germany) is undertaking public relations work for the promotion of solar thermal and photovoltaics, now since 20 years. Surveys on the German solar market have been carried out as a basis for regular publications of studies about the development of the German and European solar market. Furthermore it plays an active part in the campaign Solar-na klar!.

The Danish Technological Institute (DTI, Denmark) is a private, independent, non-profit company. The Danish Technological Institute stands at the interface between trade and industry, the research & education sector, and the public sector. Itthus participates in development projects for the benefit of society at large in close cooperation with leading research and education institutes in Denmark and abroad. DTI transfers and processes research and/or technology-based know-how to Danish trade and industry.

O.Ö. Energiesparverband (Austria) is the energy agency of Upper Austria, an industrial region in the Northern part of Austria. Thanks to a comprehensive regional energy plan, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (which presently provide 30 % of the total energy supply) have a high priority. The energy agency is active on local, regional, national, EU and international levels with numerous projects.

The Institut Catala d'Energia (ICAEN, Spain) is a public corporation created by the Catalan Parliament. ICAEN was created with the express objective of becoming fully integrated into the socio-economic fabric of Catalonia in order to promote technologically innovative projects both in the industrial and the service sectors, as well as in transport. It now enjoys the support of all players involved with energy, such as producers, consumers, professional associations, equipment manufacturers and engineering firms.

The Netherlands agency for energy and the environment (NOVEM BV, the Netherlands) is an agency specialised in the management of energy and environmental programmes on behalf of the Dutch government, the European Union and the International Energy Agency (IEA). In addition to knowledge and expertise, Novem can also offer various forms of financial support. Novem co-operates with the business world, not-for-profit organisations, governmental bodies and research institutions.

As Regional Energy and Environment Agency of the Rhône-Alpes Region, Rhône-Alpes Energie (RAEE, France) is in charge of the setting up of the regional policy for energy conservation and for the enhancement of local energies. It aims at contributing to the promotion, to the co-ordination and the development of actions in favour of energy savings, to the promotion of renewable energies, to the preservation of resources and to the protection and the enhancement of the environment.

Trama Technoambiental (TTA, Spain) is an engineering and applied research firm specialised in design, project management and technology development of renewable energies in different fields, e.g. low energy buildings, integrated solar energy and PV rural electrification. Its activities began in 1986. Its experience has been proven in successfully managing many RES implementation projects both in Europe and in third world countries.

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