Large-scale solar thermal systems in leading countries: A review and comparative study of Denmark, China, Germany and Austria

Daniel Tschopp, Zhiyong Tian*, Magdalena Berberich, Jianhua Fan, Bengt Perers, Simon Furbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Large-scale solar thermal systems are a cost-efficient technology to provide renewable heat. The rapid market growth in the last decade has been concentrated on a small number of countries, with the outstanding position of Denmark followed by China, Germany and Austria. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the market and common technological solutions for large-scale solar thermal systems in these countries. Country-specific factors, including solar resources, heat supply systems, competing technologies, promotion schemes and business models, which put these countries in a leading role, are analyzed in detail using an integrated assessment framework. For each country, a best practice solar heating system is introduced. The analysis shows that heat supply by large-scale solar thermal systems is a mature technology with a broad field of applications and that mainly country-specific boundary conditions regarding the heat supply system and incentive policy are responsible for the preeminent role of these four countries. The unique role of district heating utilities in Denmark, which are subject to a national emissions trading system and often act both as investors and operators of large-scale solar thermal systems, can serve as a role model for other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114997
JournalApplied Energy
Volume270
Number of pages19
ISSN0306-2619
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Large-scale solar thermal systems
  • Renewable heat
  • Cost efficiency
  • Energy policy
  • Country analysis

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