When considering renewable energy options, our minds are drawn toward solar panels, windfarms, and electric vehicles. But one technology which is often overlooked and underfunded is solar thermal. It is used for harnessing solar energy to generate heat for use in industry, residential, and commercial sectors. At a time when the EU is planning to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels before 2030, experts in solar thermal energy have emphasised the importance of including this technology in the energy mix.
Solar heating is growing in popularity as more people have become concerned about the impact of climate change on their lives. Rising utility bills also have a significant part to play in the decision to switch to more affordable energy solutions.
How does solar thermal technology work?
Solar thermal heating systems capture and store solar energy to keep indoor spaces warm. These modern heating systems use the sun’s energy, rather than fossil fuels, to generate low-cost, environmentally friendly thermal energy which is used for heating sanitary hot water. Unlike solar panel heating, these systems do not use the sun’s thermal energy to generate electricity.
There is a range of technologies that transform the energy from the sun into hot water. In Ireland, the most common technologies are solar thermal collectors, or solar hot water collectors. The amount of water supplied by solar thermal collectors depends on the system size and building hot water demand. Typical well-installed systems provide up to 60% of hot water demand over 12 months.
Whether you are trying to reduce your energy bills or aiming to have an eco-friendly business and/or home, solar thermal power is a great solution for you!
A cost-efficient alternative to the electrification of heat
Unlike electricity, heat can’t be transported easily, and can only be generated locally. Solar thermal, therefore, provides a more efficient, high-density means of providing zero carbon heat, presenting a cost-effective alternative to the electrification of heat.
“Thermal energy is collected and stored in warmer months and can be used throughout the year and in the opposing season when it is needed most,” explains Williams. “The technology also relieves the increasing burden being placed on the electricity grid as the world electrifies transport and moves away from gas.”
Benefits of solar thermal technology
- Reduce your energy bills
Solar thermal systems use solar energy to heat your home, reducing utility bills by up to 70%. Sunlight is free, so once you’ve your solar thermal system installed, your heating and hot water costs will be significantly reduced.
- Become eco-friendly and reduce your carbon footprint
Solar thermal power is a natural energy source with none of the environmental impacts of fossil fuels. By using solar energy instead of harmful fossil fuels, solar thermal systems reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
- Improve your home efficiency without compromising the design of your slated roof
Solar thermal collectors have been designed in pursuit of maximum efficiency and little to no aesthetic impact on the roof. Individuals can cover up to 66% of their annual needs for hot water which means you start recovering the cost of your roof from day one!
- More accessible
Solar thermal systems are no longer the luxury experimental item they once were, and the associated technology is advancing all the time. Solar thermal systems are now cheaper, easier to install, and more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises with help of leasing experts such as Grenke. Grenke can provide all the necessary equipment to businesses that want to use solar energy and benefit from its many advantages without any major upfront costs.
The solar thermal industry is expected to grow to $36 billion globally by 2026. According to the International Energy Agency, solar thermal and geothermal will meet 75% of all heat demand by 2050. This industry has a big role to play in the whole transformation that is needed to reach net-zero carbon by 2050.
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As one of the leading financial service providers in the Irish market, GRENKE’s slogan is ‘Fast, Forward, Finance’. GRENKE offers entrepreneurs fast and flexible financial solutions through a range of services including leasing and invoice finance. We match the perfect financial solution to your unique business needs, from small businesses to large enterprises.
Over the last 40 years, GRENKE has provided leasing to numerous styles of businesses and organisations; sole traders, partnerships, public and private limited companies, associations and organisations, medical, health, and educational providers, public hospitals, semi-state institutions, Government bodies and so much more.
Our expertise and strong market position are no coincidence. If you are a business owner looking for financial solutions in Ireland or advice on fast and flexible financing, talk to a GRENKE Account Manager today.