The global solar district heating market is expected to drive over the forecast period, as the technology is an environment-friendly and cost-effective method of producing heat and electricity. According to the studies, it has been estimated that around 15–20% of global district heat demand will be met by solar thermal by 2022.
The process produces zero-emission heat through solar-based collector fields. In the current scenario, environmental problems owing to high non-renewable source consumption such as global warming, pollution, and harmful emissions are increasing at rapid rates.
Conventional energy sources are available at limited amounts, which means there is a huge scope for renewable energy and is expected to cover significant volume share in the global energy market owing to its environment-friendly nature.
Recently, district heating is emerging as one of the potential markets for renewable energy, where solar energy is expected to play a significant role over the forecast period. This solar thermal technology is widely used for industrial and residential areas.
Feasible heat costs are another major advantage, which is expected to boom the overall demand in future. Electricity and heating areas are expected to establish as major application segments of the global solar district heating market.
High initial costs associated with solar system installations are expected to restrain global solar district heating industry growth over the forecast period. High heat distribution temperatures of district heating systems resulting into low solar collector performance are expected to hinder the overall market demand in future.
The global solar district heating market is segmented on the basis of type including air collectors, glazed flat plate collectors, unglazed water collectors, and evacuated tube collectors. All these technology types are used for energy generation depending on the location and the investment. Therefore, all these types are expected to witness high market growth over the forecast period.
Major countries witnessing high solar district heating industry growth are the U.S., Japan, France, Norway, Brazil, Spain, and Italy. Among all the regions, district solar heating is booming in Europe. Denmark has successfully implemented the technology owing to the well-established district heating infrastructure, cheaper ground mounted collectors, competitive prices of heat production technology, and high natural gas taxes.
North America followed Europe and is implanting the technology to promote renewable source over conventional source. Shale gas plays in the region which results into low cost of natural gas is expected to limit the scope for solar district heating market development.
In terms of demand growth, Asia Pacific and Europe are expected to witness high growth over the forecast period. Regional governments are taking initiatives to develop infrastructure and advanced technologies to encourage technologies associated with renewable energy.
Central & South America is expected to witness high growth in future owing to stringent environmental regulations by the government, while Middle East & Africa is expected to experience stable demand growth over the forecast period.
In terms of production, Europe emerges as a major region with well-developed solar district heating market. A significant number of projects are undertaken by various countries such as Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, and France in order to develop the industry and reduce the harmful environmental impacts.
The technology is a booming segment and research & development studies are still undergoing in order to assess future opportunities of the market. Therefore, a huge number of market players are expected to enter the global solar district heating industry over the forecast period.
Further, established companies are expected to expand their business in potential regions such as Europe and Asia Pacific owing to high investment initiatives by the government to encourage the renewable energy market. Key solar district heating industry participants currently operating are Bosch, Alfa Laval, ABB Ltd., Soltigua, and Greenonetech.
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