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2015 Campaign: 1 - 15 May




Europeans support decentralised solar energy

Solar grassroots campaign attracts more than half a million people

BRUSSELS, 22 May 2013– The 6th edition of the European Solar Days has shown massive public support across Europe for solar energy. More than half a million European citizens attended the 6,000 local events in 20 countries from 1 to 19 May, keen to learn more about the decentralised energy source. This remarkable level of participation reflects Europeans’ positive view of solar energy: according to a Eurobarometer survey 94% of Europeans are in favour of this renewable energy technology, more than any other energy source.

During an informal stakeholder event in Brussels on 15 May, the European solar industry discussed the achievements and the future role of solar technology for the energy supply in Europe with EU policy makers and academics. In a keynote speech, Stefan Schurig, Director Climate Energy at the World Future Council outlined the role solar energy can play in achieving an ethical life and society. He said: "Solar Energy is the key to the transition of the European heat and electricity markets and a society entirely powered by renewable sources. Its decentralised nature literally means power to the people. It therefore ensures an added value for our society and in particular our democracies."

The success of solar energy and its firm role as a critical part of the European sustainable energy supply has been driven by the development of efficient solar energy technology as well as the broad social acceptance and political support throughout Europe. According to a recent report by the European Commission, the EU is on track to meet the energy targets set in the European Renewable Energy Strategy 2020. In March this year, the European Commission released the Green Paper on Climate and Energy 2030, launching the discussion surrounding the next steps towards the transformation of Europe’s energy sector. While the European solar industry welcomes the Green Paper initiative, the industry strives for more concrete targets.

While the European solar industry can look back on successful developments over the last decade we need to ensure that this momentum can continue. We need to maintain ambitious future targets for solar energy development in Europe”, said Reinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.“As European solar industry representatives, we are therefore calling on the European Commission to set new and challenging renewable energy targets for 2030 that urge Europe to create a long term sustainable energy supply”, complemented Xavier Noyon, Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation.

Europe’s Energy Roadmap 2050 and the EU Energy 2020 targets commit EU policy makers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050, and to increasing the share of renewable energies to 20% by 2020. Under the right policy and market conditionssolar electricity could account for up to 12% of the EU power demand by 2020 by itself. At the same time, solar thermal could meet up to 3.6% of the low temperature demand in the EU.

The next edition of the European Solar Days campaign will take place from 1 to 18 May 2014.

– ENDS –



Press release


For more information

  •  Theresa Doetsch, ESTIF, Communications & Events Officer. Tel: +32 (0) 2 546 19 38. E-mail:
  • Craig Winneker, EPIA, Head of Political Communications. Tel: +32 (0) 2 400 17 82. E-mail:


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.”