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Commission challenge tackled by European consortium

Following a challenge set by the European Commission, Soltherm Europe has initiated a new Europe wide project, which sets out to achieve 15 million square meters of solar collectors in Europe by 2004. The Commission set the challenge during its 'take off' campaign in 1999. 15...

Following a challenge set by the European Commission, Soltherm Europe has initiated a new Europe wide project, which sets out to achieve 15 million square meters of solar collectors in Europe by 2004. The Commission set the challenge during its 'take off' campaign in 1999. 15 million square meters of solar collectors is equivalent to meeting the heating and hot water needs of three million households. A number of European key market players have united to accomplish this mission and national campaigns will be launched to increase industry and customer awareness. The Initiative has started with the launch of the website (http://www.soltherm.org) and an application to become a 'renewable energy partner' with the European Commission. Solar collectors are used for heating tap water, buildings and processes and are one of the most mature renewable energy options. At present, around 11 million square meters of solar collectors are installed in Europe, with an annual growth rate of about one million square meters per year. The objectives set in the European Commission White paper on renewable energy are to have 100 million square meters of solar collectors installed by 2010. To reach that goal, installation rates will have to accelerate. If an additional 15 million square meters can be installed by 2004, the market growth will meet European White Paper targets. The sales of solar collectors in the EU in the year 1999 was 900,000 square metres, leading to an overall installed collector surface of nine million square metres. In 1999, 90 per cent of the sales consisted of flat plate collectors and 10 per cent of vacuum tube collectors.ndicat