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China’s Solar Thermal Heating Industry is First in the World

China’s Solar Thermal Heating Industry is First in the World

The introduction of solar thermal heating systems (water heaters), which use solar energy directly as heat, is making progress in China, Europe, and other areas. Solar water heaters make hot water from solar heat and are used to supply hot water to homes. China’s installed capacity (cumulative total) as of the end of 2010 in particular accounted for approximately 70% of the world’s, with a difference of more than ten-times the capacity compared to the second-place Turkey.

The following reasons could be given for why the use of solar heat is making progress in China:

  • The government is proactively promoting its use as part of its environmental measures
  • China’s economy is developing and its living standards are on the rise
  • China’s proprietary technology is advancing and it is supplying markets with high quality products

China’s solar water heater industry in particular got its start in the latter half of the 1970s, and is comprised of an integrated industrial chain that extends all the way from processing the raw materials to the manufacturing, sales, and servicing of water heater products.

Within China there are said to be some 1,000 companies that are manufacturers of these solar thermal systems, with 25 companies that have received “Golden Sun” product certification. Most of the products are installed domestically within China, but they are also exported to newly emerging countries in Africa and Central and South America, and have even begun to be exported to Europe as well. Some imports are even entering Japan.


Table  Installed capacity for solar thermal heating systems (Unit: MW)

กก 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
China 65,100 79,898 87,500 101,500 117,600
Turkey 6,615 7,105 7,446 8,425 9,323
Germany 5,638 6,579 7,246 8,377 9,182
Japan 5,051 4,875 4,421 4,335 4,050
Others 19,898 22,251 25,699 29,272 33,338
Total 102,302 120,708 132,312 151,908 173,492

Source: Solar Heat Worldwide 2007 - 2012
(http://www.iea-shc.org/)

 

Fig. Installed capacity for solar thermal heating systems in 2010 (cumulative total)
Fig.  Installed capacity for solar thermal heating systems in 2010 (cumulative total)
Source: Solar Heat Worldwide 2012
(http://www.iea-shc.org/)

 

Fig. Trends in the installed capacity for solar thermal heating systems by country
Fig.  Trends in the installed capacity for solar thermal heating systems by country

 

Reference material:
Source: Renewables 2012 Global Status Report
(http://www.ren21.net/)
Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP)
Renewables 2010 Global Status Report
Renewables 2011 Global Status Report

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