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2015 Campaign: 1 - 15 May




Europe celebrates the Solar Days

On 1 May, Europe’s largest solar energy grassroots movement gets in full swing once again

Brussels, 16 April 2013 – The European Solar Days, Europe’s largest solar energy grassroots movement, is growing fast throughout Europe with events expected to attract more than a half-million participants. Between Wednesday 1 May and Sunday 19 May 2013, solar energy supporters – from citizens to industry stakeholders to politicians and policymakers – will gather for celebrations, educational activities, demonstrations and other events.

From a small Austrian grassroots effort in 2002, the European Solar Days initiative now includes thousands of events in over 20 countries. Citizens can learn about the benefits of solar energy, and exchange experiences on how to best harness the energy from the sun. Exhibitions, open days, photo competitions, and activities for children, training for company staff are just a few examples of the wide variety of events being organised.

In 2013, the European Year of Citizens, the Solar Days campaign is a unique expression of broad social engagement, involving citizens, companies, NGOs and public authorities towards the promotion solar energy.

More and more, European citizens have been choosing solar energy as their preferred energy source. By the end of 2012, more than 70 gigawatts of photovoltaic systems and 28 gigawatts of solar thermal systems had been installed in Europe. This is enough to supply 20 million households with electricity and to provide domestic hot water to 13.5 million households with an average sized solar thermal system.

Xavier Noyon,Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), said: “A great number of Europeans are using solar thermal energy for domestic hot water production or space heating. The total installed capacity in Europe increased by almost 10 % in 2012. Considering that over 45% of the energy consumed in Europe is used for heating, it is clear that solar thermal can make an important contribution towards reaching the EU 2020 renewable energy targets.”

Reinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), stated: “Even in a very challenging economic environment, 17 gigawatts of new solar power systems were installed in Europe in 2012. Europeans understand and appreciate the benefits of solar energy: bringing down the energy bill of private households, while providing a sustainable energy supply for Europe.”

On 15 May, a European Solar Days Networking Cocktail is taking place in Brussels to engage policy makers, industry and civil society organisations with the grassroots. On this occasion, Stefan Schurig, Director Climate Energy at the World Future Council, will shed the light on the achievements of solar energy towards a sustainable energy future in Europe, and its potential role for an ethical life and society.

– ENDS –


 Press release


For more information

  • Pedro Dias, ESTIF, Deputy Secretary General. Tel: +32 (0) 2 546 19 38
  • Craig Winneker, EPIA, Head of Political Communications. Tel: +32 (0) 2 400 17 82.

Note to editors:

European Solar Days – For a bright future

The European Solar Days were originally launched in 2002 in Austria with the “Day of the Sun”. Positive feedback encouraged organisers to develop the event further into an annual pan-European campaign running over multiple weeks.

The European Solar Days are intended to promote the use of solar energy in Europe through a wide range of events: fairs, hands-on exhibitions, presentations, races of solar-powered devices, conferences, debates and much more. Over the past 11 years, the initiative has drawn an increasing number of supporters: in 2012 more than 8000 events were held across 20 European countries, attracting the participation of over 700 000 citizens. Organisers included various organisations working in the solar equipment manufacturing industry as well as local authorities or educational institutions.

The 6th edition of this Europe-wide campaign is organised by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), together with the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), and a network of some 25 organisations including NGOs, businesses and local governments. The European Solar Days’ project is supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Commission.

For more information on the European Solar Days, access the official campaign website:


About the organisers (ESTIF and EPIA):

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) actively promotes the use of solar thermal technology for renewable heating and cooling in Europe. With around 80 members from 17 European countries, ESTIF represents the whole value chain in today's solar thermal market: from manufacturers, service providers, and national associations to research institutes.  

 EPIA – the European Photovoltaic Industry Association – represents members active along the whole solar PV value chain: from silicon, cells and module production, to systems development and PV electricity generation, as well as marketing and sales. EPIA’s mission is to give its global membership a distinct and effective voice in the European market, especially in the EU.”