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Solar thermal energy has become a competitive energy source in Finland

The solar thermal investments made by companies and municipalities are particularly cost-effective, indicates a new report.
The annual output of a solar thermal energy system depends on the type of collector in use and on the location, orientation and size of the system. Photo: Savosolar

The report focuses on the cost-effectiveness and prices of solar thermal energy systems and indicates that the prices of solar thermal systems have dropped and that the average efficiency of collectors has improved.

Solar thermal energy is a cost-effective energy source in Finland when it is used to replace oil heating or electric central heating. It can also be a viable alternative in areas belonging to the district heating network, depending on company-specific prices and periodic tariffs.

‘While writing this report, we came across several earlier reports with outdated costs and calculations. Hopefully this report will help Finnish consulting companies, engineering companies and authorities in bringing their solar thermal energy knowledge up to date’, Project Lead Karoliina Auvinen says.

Favourable conditions

Finland is a naturally favourable location for solar thermal energy production. Hot water is needed in summer, and buildings require heating in spring and autumn. In Finland, solar thermal collectors are used as a part of hybrid energy systems that are rapidly gaining popularity. These systems combine solar thermal energy with geo-thermal energy, bioenergy, oil heating and/or district heating, depending on the location.

The purchase prices of solar thermal systems vary based on the installation location and the size of the system. The solar thermal energy investments made by companies and municipalities are particularly cost-effective as no

VAT has to be paid on the equipment. Companies and municipalities may also be entitled to an investment subsidy.

Households and housing co-operatives have to pay VAT on their investments, but households are entitled to a domestic help credit for the installation work. Compared to companies and municipalities, consumers usually pay a higher price for the energy they purchase. This often means that solar energy is also a cost-effective alternative for individual households.

The annual output of a solar thermal energy system depends on the type of collector in use and on the location, orientation and size of the system. In order for an investment to be cost-effective, the size of the system must be optimised for the heat demand of the building. It is also important to ensure that the solar thermal collectors have a good efficiency rating and that they are installed in a location that receives plenty of sunshine.

‘We recommend turning to a solar energy professional. As long as you pay attention to quality, your system will be durable and cost-effective’, says Professor Raimo Lovio.

The report on the prices and cost-effectiveness of solar energy systems in Finland (in Finnish.)

The report is part of the FinSolar project led by the Aalto University School of Business.­­

For further information, please contact:
Karoliina Auvinen
tel. +358 50 462 4727
[email protected]

Raimo Lovio
tel. +358 40 353 8242
[email protected]

Aalto University School of Business, Department of Management Studies

FinSolar project

FinSolar is a project led by the Aalto University School of Business, and it aims at promoting the development of the Finnish solar energy market. The project is scheduled to last until the end of 2015 and involves more than 50 businesses, municipalities and organisations. The project is primarily funded by Tekes.

Further information: www.finsolar.net

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