Larger systems on the rise

The ISOL-Navigator for December 2015. (Graphic: Solrico)
The ISOL-Navigator for December 2015. (Graphic: Solrico)

The market research agency Solrico puplished the new ISOL Navigator. The comprehensive overview of the global solar thermal market shows that large systems will become more and more important in the following years. The Index analysed 18 key markets and Solrico spoke to 330 stakeholders.

12 % of the solar thermal manufacturers are currently generating their highest turnover with larger systems with 50 or more square metres of collector area. According to the ISOL Index 20 % of the 330 questioned companies expect that in the year 2020 larger systems will generate the largest turnover. Especially North and Central Europe as well as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) companies are expected to develop in this direction.

Another interesting technological trend is a new focus on the combination of heat pumps and solar thermal. However, the interest in this technology seems to have a totally different motivation than the trend towards larger systems.

While the economy of scale gives larger systems a clear advantage over smaller ones the heat pump combination has a much harder time being commercially successful. However, the industry seems to be forced into this direction. According to the ISOL Navigator many companies see the heat pump as a strong competitor, as well as its “natural” partner photovoltaics. Three years ago 48 % of the surveyed companies stated photovoltaics is a strong competitor, nowadays 57 % stated this observation.

Besides technological trends the ISOL Index also monitors the development of 18 key markets worldwide. According to the latest numbers manufacturers see Turkey, Greece, India, Brazil and Mexico as strong markets that promise a positive development.

In China, the by far biggest market worldwide, the situation is very different. The ISOL Index dropped to a new all-time low of 23 points. In all the markets mentioned before the Index lies above 40 points. With a ranking this low China is now on one level with the United Kingdom (23 points) and France (25 points) at the bottom of all the monitored countries.

The complete ISOL Navigator is a detailed 98 page study that can be ordered at

Jan Gesthuizen

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