In Austria solar thermal systems for hot water preparation and swimming pool heating faced a first boom period already in the 1980ies. At the beginning of the 1990ies it was possible to develop a considerable market in the field of solar combi systems for hot water and space heating. In the period between the year 2002 and 2009 the solar thermal market grew significantly and reached the peak in 2009 due to rising oil prices but also due to new applications in the multifamily house sector, the tourism sector as well as with new applications in solar assisted district heating and industrial process heat. After this phase of massive growths the sector is facing a declining market in the sixth year in a row. In the beginning of this development this was caused by the effects of economic and financial crisis but is now mainly influenced by low prices of fossil fuels and the growing competition with Photovoltaic systems.
Market development of solar thermal collectors in Austria until 2015. Source: AEE INTEC
By the end of the year 2015 approx. 5.2 million m2 of solar thermal collectors were in operation. This corresponds to an installed thermal capacity of 3.7 GWth. The solar yield of the solar thermal systems in operation is equal to 2,129 GWhth. The avoided CO2-emissions are 447,285 tons.
In 2015 a total of 137,740 m2 solar thermal collectors were installed, which corresponds to an installed thermal capacity of 96.4 MWth. The development of the solar thermal collector market in Austria was characterized by a decrease of the sales figures of 11% in 2015. The export rate of solar thermal collectors was with 82% like in 2015.
The turnover of the Austrian solar thermal industry was estimated with 228 million Euros for the year 2015. Therefore approx. 2,100 full time jobs can be numbered in the solar thermal business.