Solar Heat Worldwide 2021

"Solar heating and cooling systems with a total of 501 GWth were in operation at the end of 2020, saving 43.8 million tons of oil and 141.3 million tons of CO2. Solar district heating plants play a more and more important role in decarbonizing the heating sector, with Germany, Denmark and China taking the lead in 2020 and generating interest in other parts of the world." 
-- Tomas Olejniczak, SHC Chair



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Key Findings from Solar Heat Worldwide 2021

Number of multi-MW solar district heating systems keeps growing

The leading markets for solar district heating are Denmark (124 systems), Germany (43), Sweden (22), Austria (19), China (18), and Poland (8). This cost-effective way of greening the heat supply of neighborhoods, towns, and even cities sparks new interest in markets like France, Switzerland, Russia, and South Africa. (Photo: Solid Energy Systems).

Growth despite COVID-19 

Despite the pandemic taking a heavy toll on most national economies in 2020, some large solar thermal markets grew due to increased policy support, like in Germany and the Netherlands. In Turkey and Brazil, demand for solar water heaters increased as homeowners spent more time at home and made improvements around the house.

Leading markets for solar water and solar air heating solutions

Solar thermal heating and cooling systems serve millions of residential, commercial, and industrial clients worldwide with a wide variety of technologies. Below are the top three countries for different market segments.

Steady growth on the global PV-Thermal market

PV-Thermal systems – generating both solar heat and solar electricity – becoming more popular in a growing number of countries. The 36 PVT manufacturers reported the highest sales in 2020 in established markets like the Netherlands and France and new markets such as Tibet and Ghana. The global market saw steady growth – 9 % on average between 2018 and 2020.

Solar Heat Worldwide in Brief

Solar Heat Worldwide is published on an annual basis since 2005. With data from 68 countries, it is the most comprehensive evaluation of solar heating and cooling markets worldwide. Lead authors are Werner Weiss and Monika Spörk-Dür from the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. Solar Heat Worldwide has a solid reputation as a reference among international organizations, including REN21 and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The study was again the main contributor to the solar heating and cooling chapters of REN21’s Renewable 2021 Global Status Report, one of the key policy adviser reports on renewables.