|Abstract:||In the analysis of the energy balance we establish, that we went into the wrong direction. We are facing climate changes; dependence on the import of oil and fossil fuels infects our society, which is becoming sensitive to changes occuring in this area (uneven fluctuations of fuel prices, unrealistic and impossible future analyst predictions regarding the development of fossil fuels and their prices, interruptions of supply due to political backgrounds). In this circumstances the sector of renewable energies, in our case the solar energy, becomes a very good alternative, for it reduces the dependency on fossil fuels and enables the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, e.g. environmental pollution. It exploits more affordable and cleaner energy sources and enables the technological equipment for the local industry. Awareness that the renewable energy sources, among those also the solar energy, is of crucial importance for the sustainable future of our planet, has to be raised to a higher level.
By using solar energy through thermal solar systems, we contribute to the fight against climate changes, to the positive impact regarding the energy supply, and the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels, the creation of new local jobs as well as a cleaner environment for human life. The thermal solar technologies of today are efficient and reliable with ensuring solar energy for wide use – from the preparation of hot sanitary water to heating of residential buildings, and public buildings, solar cooling, solar remote heating, production of process heat and the desalination of sea water. Solar energy brings benefits for the end-consumer as well as for the society as a whole. The economic benefit of solar energy is therefore in the replacement of the use of fossil fuel, through which we reduce heating costs and enable better planning. The hardware and installation represents almost all costs of the heating system, while it doesn't require any fuel for the operation and has during the operation lower maintenance costs. The contrary is valid for conventional heating systems, where the majority of costs appear during the operational lifespan itself (the fuel).
Even if we could assume long-term stabile energy prices, Europe shows a huge technical potential for the installation of TSS with a retributive period of 5-15 years, which is a lot less than the average lifespan of 20-25 years for this type of alternative heating systems. Therefore the thermal solar system is a long-term rational investment. The technical potential is naturally higher, if the energy prices rise in long-term and with taking into account socio-political and environmental costs of fossil fuel use. In some countries the link between the increase in prices of conventional fuels and the increasing demand for solar energy collectors is clear.
However, the biggest part of the potential solar energy use cannot survive economically under the current market conditions. The largest obstacle in growth lies in the high initial investment costs, what represents a financial and psychological element in end-customers, who irrationally prefer to choose the conditional sources; and these higher costs in the future and refuse a long-term optimal version just because of those high initial investment costs. To overcome these obstacles a lot of local, regional and national governments adopt incentive policies and so they offer financial incentives for the installation of TSS. So far, such incentives were the key element for the development of the market of thermal solar systems, especially in those parts, where this market is in early development stages. Under present conditions, the elimination of those incentives would entail great damage and stagnation of this market. The experience from the most developed markets shows, that this market can be independent without financial incentives when a minimum of the critical mass is reached.|