University of Twente Student Theses


Scenarios for solar thermal collector in Germany

Tamez Garza, A.I. (2019) Scenarios for solar thermal collector in Germany.

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Abstract:Climate change has set on the spotlight micro-generation technologies; however, solar thermal systems, an example of renewable energy sources, are facing difficulties in standing out from other renewable heating sources. In Germany, for instance, the primary residential use of energy is space heating and warm water. Solar thermal systems can cover almost 100% of these needs during the summer season, by converting the sun heat directly into warm water. Moreover, in 2015 financial-aid has been reintroduced by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) and the German state-owned development bank (KfW) to promote the acceptance of the solar thermal systems. Notwithstanding, the Solar Thermal Systems in Germany have been losing market to other green alternatives. Thus, regardless of being environmentally friendly and having incentive programs in place, in Germany, the Solar Thermal Systems market is believed to have entered the declining phase. One of the suspected causes of such a phenomenon is that consumer prefers a technology that generates not only heat but also electricity and gives access to the feed-in tariff. Also, installers, as the recommendation source, rather suggest other technologies easier to install and easier to sell, meaning low cost. Therefore, the combination of the already mentioned socio-economic factors might be causing the decline of solar thermal in Germany. What's more, it creates uncertainty for the companies offering this technology, as it is not clear what forces are driving the diffusion of solar thermal, which perhaps causes managers inaccuracy in their predictions. That being said, this research will attempt to reduce, at a macro-level, the uncertainty of Solar Thermal Collectors market acceptance, in Germany, by applying the scenario planning theory – built on Intuitive Logics –by Derbyshire and Giovanetti (2017) to the information and data gathered. The objectives of this thesis are to (1) identifying the two most critical socio-economic driving forces and (2) developing four plausible scenarios for 2021. To achieve the objectives quantitative techniques such as seasonal forecasting technique, based on least squares, multivariate regression analysis and the Bass growth model have been used. Also, qualitative techniques such as the conceptualization stage of system dynamics and critical scenario method are used in the methodology of this research. This master thesis concludes, from the analysis conducted, that the solar thermal collectors’ German market will keep its negative trend by 2021, if everything remains the same. Also, the two critical forces which slow the adoption of solar thermal collectors in Germany are the awareness/knowledge of the end-consumer towards the technology (consumer interest) and the final price (cost) of the technology. On the other hand, subsidies, as expected, don’t have an influence on the adoption of solar thermal collectors. As a result, the following four scenarios: market growth, market uncertainty, market revitalization not materializing and market stagnation. Finally, this study recommends conducting a future end-consumer tailored research to investigate the households’ level of awareness about solar thermal collectors and their likelihood of adopting the technology in the near future.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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