The world's solar heat industry -mainly for hot domestic water- has seen a growth rate 10 times bigger than the global economic growth during the last decade.The figure is included in the World Solar Heat: Markets and Contributions to Energy Supply in 2004, published by the International Energy Agency's Solar Thermal Program.
Along 2004, solar thermal energy produced 58,117 GWh, preventing the combustion of 9.3 billion liters of oil and the emission of 25.4 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, according to the report. The capacity installed worldwide reached 98.4 GW by the end of 2004.
The provisional figure for 2005 points out that the energy production was equivalent to 68 GWh, only below the wind production (considering only renewable sources).
China is the most dynamic market, indicates the report, witn an average annual growth rate of 25% between 1999 and 2004. Australia and New Zealand are second at 19%, with Europe being third with a mere 13%.