Solar heat worldwide: global market development and trends in 2017

The production of heat accounts for around one half of energy demand around the globe – the largest of all energy end uses. Heat demand is also significant in some of the hottest countries such as India where despite the climate it is still necessary for cooking, hot water and industry. In fact in India, heat accounts for two-thirds of total final energy consumption. Currently, only 10% of this comes from ‘modern’ renewable heat, which excludes the traditional use of biomass which is generally very inefficient and often unsustainable. Growth of modern renewable heat in India has been modest, seeing a 14% increase between 2007 and 2015. Solar thermal (mostly used for water heating) has seen the most rapid growth, albeit from a very low starting point, with the latest figures from the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme on Solar Heating and Cooling showing an increase in the number of systems installed in India by 26% in 2017. The country now has the sixth largest installed capacity for solar thermal globally, although it still lags behind other emerging economies such Brazil and Turkey while China remains the global leader in solar thermal capacity by a large margin.