European Solar Days events expect more than a half-million participants

Pressemeddelelse fra EU, www.solardays.eu

Grassroots campaign reflects broad consumer support for clean, cheap energy

Brussels, 13th March 2012 – Hundreds of thousands of European citizens will gather at events
across the continent to show their support for solar energy during European Solar Days (ESD),
demonstrating the huge potential contribution of solar toward meeting EU energy goals. The events,
which will take place in hundreds of locations from Tuesday, 1st May to Sunday, 13th May, have been
designed to help audiences including European policy makers and companies, but particularly
individual citizens, to understand the benefits that available solar technology offers them today.
Events include exhibitions of solar technologies, open door days, trainings for company staff, street
festivities for children, “balloon dropping” and many more.

In addition to the events around Europe, which expect to welcome more than 500,000 visitors across
16 European countries, a special event for EU political and industry stakeholders will take place in
Brussels on Thursday, 10 May. This roundtable, entitled, “Solar Citizens: People in Charge of their
energy future”, will highlight the policy changes necessary to oversee the next phase of solar energy
integration in Europe.

Over the course of the last decade, as Europe’s energy market has diversified, solar energy has
become a crucial source of clean, decentralised energy for many households. By the end of 2011,
over 50 gigawatts of PV systems had been installed in Europe – enough to supply over 15 million
households with electricity –while approximately 26 gigawatts (thermal) had been installed in 2011,
which is enough to provide over 12.5 million households with an average sized solar thermal system
for domestic hot water production. More and more, European consumers are choosing to minimise
their reliance on traditional and non-renewable energy sources, and to reduce their environmental
footprint as well as their energy bills.

Xavier Noyon, Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), said:
“A strong and growing demand for solar energy is a key factor for developing an innovative and
sustainable Europe. Solar thermal and photovoltaic are key industries for the European economy and
reducing CO2 emissions.”

Reinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA),
said: “Solar energy offers huge societal benefits, including far greater levels of sustainability. This
clean and reliable energy source gives Europeans the choice to reduce their energy bills while helping
to achieve the continent’s ambitious energy and climate policy targets.”

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 conditions solar
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.

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