Agreement on Renewable Energy Directive creates a positive climate for the long-term development of Solar Heating and Cooling in Europe

Brussels, (PresseBox) - Brussels 9 December 2008. An Agreement was reached this morning between the European Parliament and the 27 EU Member States on a new directive to boost EU renewable energy use to 20% by 2020.
For the first time, heating and cooling - responsible for 50% of Europe's energy demand - will be covered by a European Directive promoting renewable energies. Thus the Directive creates a positive climate for the long-term development of solar thermal technologies in Europe.

Under the new Directive, Member States must stipulate the "use of minimum levels of energy from renewable sources in new buildings and in existing buildings that are subject to major renovation". In Europe, through its "Solar Ordinance", the City of Barcelona pioneered the mandatory use of renewables in building. ESTIF has long since promoted the "Barcelona Model" as it accelerates the penetration of solar thermal in the construction sector. Several Member States have already enacted such renewables obligations, and even more regions and municipalities have adopted this support measure.

"With this Directive, the European Union demonstrates its leadership in Renewable Energies", says ESTIF Secretary General Uwe Trenkner. "It provides a stable policy framework and creates investor confidence - exactly what our industry needs. The solar thermal sector has high objectives and will work hard to achieve them".

The agreed Directive includes, for each Member State, a legally binding renewables target for 2020 along with a clear trajectory to follow. By June 2010 the Member States shall draw up National Action Plans detailing the ways in which they are to meet their 2020 targets, which will then be submitted to the Commission for assessment.

ESTIF is calling now for strong support policies in the 27 EU countries and will intensify its work with national associations to help them follow-up on the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive in their country.

European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF)

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation represents manufacturers, service providers and national solar associations. With more than 100 members from 19 countries, ESTIF represents more than 95 % of the European market for solar thermal products.

ESTIF's mission is to achieve high priority and acceptance for Solar Thermal as a key element for sustainable heating and cooling in Europe and with immediate effect to work for the implementation of all steps necessary to realise the high potential of Solar Thermal.

ESTIF organizes every two years the largest international conference dedicated to Solar Thermal worldwide. The 4th European Solar Thermal Energy Conference, estec2009, will take place on 25-26 May 2009 in Munich (Germany).

ESTIF is also a founding member of EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, with whom it shares headquarters in Brussels' Renewable Energy House.

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