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RES-H statistics - European Renewable Energy Council

RES-H statistics - European Renewable Energy Council

Chapter Three – Solar

Chapter Three – Solar Thermal - Best available statisticsCHAPTER THREESOLAR THERMAL - BEST AVAILABLE STATISTICS1 Analysis and Evaluation of Available Statistics1.1 Existing StatisticsThe solar thermal statistics in Europe stem from very different sources, use differentdefinitions of solar thermal and are generally of varying quality in terms of (assumed)accuracy. Even the data available at European level (e.g. Eurostat, Eur’Observer, ESTIF,IEA-SHC) show considerable variations, often due to different definitions andmethodologies used.1.2 Raw Data collectedUntil today, the raw data collected does not refer to the total amount of energy producedby solar thermal technologies, but typically to absolute size of the solar thermal collectorarea.Differences in the raw data most often stem from the use of different sources i.e. fromdifferent persons or organisations collecting and aggregating the data and their differentmethodologies.The most typical reasons for differences are: Inclusion or exclusion of unglazed collector Survey based data collection versus expert based data.A Variations in the used definitionsMost obviously, solar thermal statistics depend very much on the definitions used.While some solar thermal statistics include all active solar thermal technologies (glazedand unglazed collectors) others only show data for glazed collectors. Unfortunately, somestatistics do not explicitly state what the data refers to. And although glazed collectorsmake up the largest part of the market in Europe, there is a considerable market forunglazed collectors, which are typically used to heat the water of swimming pools.There is a particularity, which leads to the IEA’s massive under- assessment of solarthermal energy in their publication ‘Energy Statistics of OECD Countries. 2002-2003’: Inthese statistics, the IEA only consider solar thermal energy, which was used in the“Transformation Sector”. This means that only that part of the solar thermal energy wascounted that was fed into a (district) heating grid. This excludes 99.8% of the solar thermalenergy production, which is consumed domestically – without feeding into a grid. As it isthe only place where solar thermal energy is shown in that publication, it gives theimpression, that this energy source is absolutely negligible. Other IEA publications, namelythe annual Renewables Information show a more complete picture of the market.7

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