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[en] The European Union solar thermal market for heat, heating, and domestic hot water production held up well in 2019. Initial estimates put the total installed collector area at just under 2.3 million m2, which is a slight increase (1.5%) on its 2018 level. However, individual country situations vary, and the sector still has to reinvent itself to meet the huge challenge of climate neutrality. The term Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) covers all the technologies that aim to transform solar radiation energy into very high temperature heat to convert it into electricity. Most of the current CSP development is going on in countries and regions that offer suitably conducive sunlight conditions, such as China, India, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East, and the Maghreb. The European Union's new CSP plant installation pace slowed down considerably after an initial flurry concentrated in Spain between 2007 and 2014. In 2019, the European Union gauge moved up slightly to 2 323 MW when the eLLO project in the Pyrenees-Orientales, France, officially came on stream.
[en] At long last, after a sluggish decade of decline, the European Union solar thermal market for hot water production and heating applications appears to have returned to growth. According to EurObserv'ER, the 2018 European market posted a rise of some 8.4% compared to 2017, which equates to 2.2 million m2 of newly-installed surface. However, the amounts of growth vary by country and market segment. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is a blanket term for all the technologies that aim to convert the energy of the sun's rays into very high temperature heat. While the main use of these plants is to generate electricity, CSP can also be used to supply heating networks or be integrated into industrial processes.
[en] The ocean energy sector has been a beehive of activity over the last three years with many prototypes being submerged off the British, Brittany, North Sea and Mediterranean coastlines. Tidal stream energy leads wave energy conversion and the other technologies in this ocean race. This is the first time that the sector has been specifically monitored for a regular EurObserv'ER theme-based barometer
[en] In France, energy consumption for heating accounts for nearly half of final energy consumption. Energy for heating still largely comes from fossil fuel sources (with more than 60% of energy for heating coming from natural gas, fuel oil and coal), making this sector a crucial battleground for de-carbonising the economy. Fuelwood, mainly used to produce heat, is currently the leading renewable energy source in France, ahead of hydropower. However, France is lagging behind on its renewable heat targets: in 2016, 20.7% of heat was produced using renewable energy sources, compared to a target of 25.5%. Renewable heat technologies are generally cost competitive with fossil fuel sources (i.e. gas and oil). Therefore, they offer a relatively low cost per ton of CO2 avoided, below that of renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar power (see the chart below). The main driver for renewable heat is the implementation of a high carbon price. The 2018 Budget Act adjusted the trajectory for the carbon component of energy taxes upwards. This component will rise to Euros 86.20 per ton of carbon in 2022, making renewable heat technologies much more competitive. Nevertheless, investment barriers persist (including a lack of information and difficulties obtaining funding). This situation warrants energy performance standards for buildings, as well as continued government incentives, notably through the Heat Fund (Fonds Chaleur) and the Energy Transition Tax Credit (Credit d'impot pour la transition ecologique, CITE), provided such incentives are targeted to the most efficient technologies
[fr]En France, la consommation de chaleur represente pres de la moitie de la consommation finale d'energie. Ce secteur est aujourd'hui encore largement carbone (le gaz, le fioul et le charbon representent plus de 60 % de la production de chaleur) et constitue donc un enjeu majeur pour la decarbonation de l'economie. Le bois energie, utilise essentiellement pour la production de chaleur, est aujourd'hui la premiere source d'energies renouvelables consommee en France, devant l'hydraulique. La France est neanmoins en retard sur ses objectifs de chaleur renouvelable: 20,7 % de la production de chaleur etait d'origine renouvelable en 2016, alors que l'objectif fixe etait de 25,5 %. Les energies renouvelables (EnR) thermiques sont en general quasiment aussi competitives que les moyens carbones de production de chaleur (gaz, petrole). Elles presentent donc un cout de la tonne de carbone evitee relativement faible et inferieur a celui des EnR electriques comme l'eolien ou le solaire (cf. graphique). La mise en place d'un prix du carbone eleve est le principal outil de soutien a la chaleur renouvelable. La hausse votee en loi de finances pour 2018 de la trajectoire de la composante carbone, qui atteindra 86,2 Euros par tonne de carbone en 2022, va ainsi nettement augmenter la competitivite des EnR thermiques. Neanmoins, la presence de barrieres a l'investissement (comme le manque d'information ou les difficultes d'acces au credit), justifie le maintien d'un soutien public notamment via le fonds chaleur et le credit d'impot transition energetique, pourvu qu'ils soient cibles sur les technologies les plus efficaces, et de normes thermiques pour les constructions
[en] Solar thermal energy is no doubt the ultimate physical form for transferring heat to water without emitting greenhouse gases or pollutants. Yet in 2017 the sector struggled to survive in the hot water production and heating market. According to EurObserv'ER, the annual solar thermal collector surface area in the European Union dropped below the 2 million m2 mark, i.e. by 24.2% compared to the previous year's installed surface area. The individual national market figures vary widely, with several countries showing encouraging signs. Concentrated solar power is another way of harnessing direct sunlight. The technology consists of concentrating the sun's rays using mirrors to heat a fluid to high temperature, produce steam and thus produce electricity. The European Union's installed base has remained at almost the same level since 2014 and stood at 2 314 MW at the end of 2017. The global market whose growth has been sluggish over the past two years (110 MW in 2016 and 100 MW in 2017) should pick up speed from 2018 onwards
[en] The European solar thermal market is still losing pace. According to the preliminary estimates from EurObserv'ER, the solar thermal segment dedicated to heat production (domestic hot water, heating and heating networks) contracted by a further 4.6% in 2016 down to 2.6 million m2. The sector is pinning its hopes on the development of the collective solar segment that includes industrial solar heat and solar district heating to offset the under-performing individual home segment. Since 2014 European concentrated solar power capacity for producing electricity has been more or less stable. New project constructions have been a long time coming, but this could change at the end of 2017 and in 2018 essentially in Italy
[en] In 2015, the European Union saw its solar thermal market contract for the seventh year in a row. EurObserv'ER puts sales of solar thermal capacity installed for the heating market (hot water and space heating) at 1861 MWth, equivalent to a 2.7 million m"2 of collectors... a further 8.6% decrease on the previous year's poor performance. Combined solar thermal capacity installed to date in the EU stands at 34.3 GWth, or 49 million m"2 of collectors
[en] European concentrated solar power capacity remained stable in 2014 and will probably post a negligible increase in 2015. Construction work on a number of new facilities in Italy that are scheduled for commissioning in 2016 and 2017 could commence in the second half of the year. The European solar thermal market for producing heat, domestic hot water and heating has not found the recipe for recovery. According to EurObserv'ER, the market contracted by a further 3.7% from its 2013 level which is the sixth decrease in a row
[en] The objective of this study was to provide an objective documentary source, relevant and usable for institutional and economic players at a regional colloquium on renewable energies which was to be organized by the French Polynesian community and the High Commission of the Republic in the second quarter of 2014. However, the date was put back due to local political changes which occurred following the last territorial elections (mid-2013). More largely, in the context of the fight against climate change, the subject of renewable energies takes on considerable importance. A large number of island States in the Pacific zone are extremely dependent on fossil fuels, and in the coming years, will face major impacts related to climate change (biodiversity, rising sea level, food security,...). It should be noted here that the small island countries (notably those of the Pacific) which belong to the intergovernmental organization AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States), constitute a real lobbying force in the face of large industrialized countries at climate negotiations. Images of the Maldives' Council of Ministers meeting underwater demonstrate the will of small island States to make themselves heard at the highest levels. The notion of 'climate refugees' is not a mere idea; it could soon become a veritable legal concept. This study in no way claims to meet these challenges, but strives to highlight some solutions which are working ('good practices' in donors' terms), in order to propose adapting or replicating them. The accepted approach is thus above all positive and constructive: solutions exist, sometimes at low cost, and the projects help give Pacific peoples the feeling that they belong to wider global community, not to mention a sometimes small but important part of their harmony
[en] The European concentrated solar plant market is set to mark time for a year following efforts to complete construction on 350 MW of CSP capacity in Spain in 2013. The spotlight has switched to Italy which could re-launch the European market within a couple of years. The European solar thermal market for heat and hot water production and space heating, is shrinking all the time. EurObserv'ER reports that the market is in its fifth successive year of contraction in the European Union. It now posts a 10.5% decline on its 2012 performance having struggled to install just over 3 million m"2 of collectors in 2013