Installed capacities of solar collectors reached 196 GWth - providing 162 TWh of solar thermal energy and saving 53 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The IEA stated that solar heating and cooling is ‘second only to wind among the new renewables’, and that despite China’s lead in installations, Australia and Israel added more capacity per capita than any other country.
The figures have been published in the IEA’s Solar Heat Worldwide report, which provides data gathered from 55 countries and representing over 60% of the global population (and over 90% of the global thermal market). It shows that much of the total 2010 capacity was installed in China and Europe - with 117.6 GWth and 36.0 GWth respectively, together amounting to 78.5% of total capacity.
95% of existing systems provide domestic hot water only reveals the report.
In some countries however, combisystems (which also cover space heating in part) are a major application in the market with industrial applications, district heating and air conditioning experiencing growth in the solar thermal market. Together these systems accounted for 10% of newly installed systems in 2010.
Thermosiphon (natural flow) systems have emerged as the clear market leader with 89% of newly installed capacity in 2010 compared to 11% of forced circulation systems. The report also illustrates Chinese dominance as revealed by the type of collectors employed, with 78% being vacuum tube collectors, 18% flat-plate collectors and 4% unglazed collectors.