European Solar Thermal Industry Federation


Date: 21 May 2014


save over 20 billion Euros annually in reduced fossil fuel imports



  • The current security of supply emergency is mainly a heating crisis:

The renewed concerns for our security of supply are mainly due to the EU’s heavy dependency on natural gas from Russia. Indeed, natural gas is mainly being used in the following sectors: 41% for heating of buildings, 31% for industrial processes, and only to a lesser extent in power plants (~25%).

  • Renewables for heating and cooling must be a pillar of the EUs energy security:

Small and large-scale geothermal, biomass, and solar thermal technologies are fast, versatile and practical options which, alongside energy efficiency, will alleviate our fossil fuels dependency by quickly replacing natural gas in the residential and tertiary sectors as well as for industrial processes. As fossil fuels and electricity prices are set to further increase in the next years, renewables for heating and cooling are preferable to volatile and costly alternatives, including direct electric heating and should be acknowledged as such.

  • Saving the EU up to €21.2 billion annually in avoided gas Imports:

By achieving the targets for renewables in heating and cooling (21.4 % in 2020), the EU could reduce its gas imports by the equivalent of 28.7 Mtoe annually in 2020. With current average import prices, this would save the EU some € 9.6 bn. However, with more ambitious policies, it would be possible to cover 25% of the total heat demand by the end of this decade. The annual savings in reduced fossil fuel imports would amount to as much as € 21.8 bn compared to 2012.

  • Proposal for a 2030 climate and energy framework- a missed opportunity:

 Renewables for heating and cooling are vital to reduce energy dependency as well as to decarbonisation and competitiveness. However, the Commission’s 2030 proposal, setting out a single GHG emissions reduction target of 40%, would only imply an increase of renewables in heating and cooling from 21% in 2020 to some 25% in 2030. This is simply the equivalent of business-as-usual and needs to be urgently reconsidered.

  • Stable and long-term framework conditions called for.

The industry is ready to deliver, but needs stable and long-term framework conditions. Adequate and dedicated roots to activate current and future funds are needed. In order to establish a level-playing field, it is of the utmost importance to immediately phase-out fossil fuels subsidies and to set a tax on carbon and other emissions in sectors not covered by the ETS (in particular in buildings).

Click here to download the full paper


AEBIOM, EGEC and ESTIF represent the European Renewable Heating and Cooling industry associations of the biomass, geothermal and solar thermal sectors respectively.

Renewable Energy House
63-67 rue d'Arlon
B - 1040 Brussels

For more information, please contact:
AEBIOM: Fanny-Pomme Langue – Policy Director fanny.langue(at)  +32 24 00 10 56
EGEC: Luca Angelino – Head of Policy and Regulation Council l.angelino(at) +3224001024
ESTIF: Pedro Dias – Secretary General pedro.dias(at) +32 2 400 10 80





Solar Thermal Markets
in Europe

Trends and Markets
Statistics 2015

(published November 2016)


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