Major results

Total installed capacity in operation worldwide by the end of 2011

By the end of 2011, an installed capacity of 234.6 GWth corresponding to a total of 335.1 million square meters of collector area was in operation in the 56 countries recorded in this report. These 56 countries represent 4.3 billion people, which is 61% of the world’s population. The installed capacity in these countries represents more than 95% of the solar thermal market worldwide.

The vast majority of the total capacity in operation was installed in China (152.2 GWth) and Europe (39.3 GWth), which together accounted for 81.6% of the total installed. The remaining installed capacity was shared between the United States and Canada (16.7 GWth), Asia excluding China (9.6 GWth), Latin America (6.3 GWth), Australia and New Zealand (4.9 GWth), the MENA countries Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia (4.7 GWth) as well as between some Sub-Sahara African countries (0.9 GWth), namely Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The breakdown of the cumulated capacity in operation in 2011 by collector type is 27.9% glazed flat-plate collectors, 62.3% evacuated tube collectors, 9.2% unglazed water collectors and 0.7% glazed and unglazed air collectors.

The annual collector yield of all water-based solar thermal systems in operation by the end of 2011 in the 56 recorded countries was 195.5 TWh/a (or 704.0 PJ/a). This corresponds to an energy savings equivalent to 20.9 million tons of oil per year and 64.1 million tons of CO2 respectively.

Newly installed capacity worldwide in 2011

In the year 2011, a total capacity of 48.1 GWth, corresponding to 68.7million square meters of solar collectors, was installed worldwide. This means an increase in new collector installations of 14.3% compared to the year 2010.

The main markets were in China (40.32 GWth) and Europe (3.93 GWth), which together accounted for 92.1% of the overall new collector installations in 2011. The rest of the market was shared between Asia excluding China (0.94 GWth), Latin America represented by Brazil, Chile and Mexico (0.92 GWth), the United States and Canada (0.76 GWth), Australia (0.70 GWth), the MENA region represented by Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia (0.40 GWth) and the Sub-Sahara African countries Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe (0.09 GWth). The breakdown of the newly installed capacity in 2011 by collector type is 14.7% glazed flat-plate collectors, 81.9% evacuated tube collectors, 3.2% unglazed water collectors and 0.2% glazed and unglazed air collectors.

2012

The estimated total capacity of solar thermal collectors in operation worldwide by the end of 2012 was 268.1 GWth, or
383.0 million square meters of collector area. This corresponds to an annual collector yield of 225.0 TWh, which is equivalent to savings of 24.0 million tons of oil and 73.7 million tons of CO2 respectively.

Based on data collected from the detailed country reports, the number of jobs in the fields of production, installation and maintenance of solar thermal systems is estimated to be 420,000 worldwide in 2012.