ESTIF’s Board of Directors has appointed Pedro Dias to serve as new Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation. The former deputy general follows in the footsteps of Xavier Noyon, who left ESTIF at the end of March. Accordingly, the association has reduced its staff from four to three permanent employees – a result of the persistent sales crisis in the European solar thermal industry and the decrease in the number of ESTIF members. However, the association will soon engage two interns to complement the workforce.
Dias, who joined ESTIF back in 2008, working first as Operations Manager and later as Deputy Secretary General of the association, took over as ESTIF Secretary General on 1 April 2014. A Portuguese national, he has a management degree from the international Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC) in Portugal. Dias brings with him a wealth of experience from both the commercial and private sector. He used to work in the heating industry, more specifically in gas retail and the commercialisation of heating equipment. At ESTIF, Dias can combine his professional skills and his passion for renewable energy.
“We are delighted that Pedro has accepted to take on the mantle of ESTIF Secretary General at a turning point for our sector,” ESTIF President, Robin Welling, is quoted in the press release from 1 April 2014. “This is a time when we must focus all our energy in raising decision-makers’ awareness about the potential of the solar thermal contribution towards energy independence and security in Europe.”
“Solar thermal – essential component of any future sustainable energy system”
On taking up his new position, Dias emphasised the growing importance of ESTIF’s mission to increase the use of solar thermal energy in heating and cooling in Europe: “We are at a crucial moment in designing our energy system for the future, a system that cannot be imposed on citizens, but should rather be built with their active involvement.” He added: “Solar thermal, by providing heating and cooling solutions for the residential, commercial and industrial needs, is an essential component of any future sustainable, affordable and competitive energy system, where consumers become producers and push for diverse solutions for their energy needs, be it heating and cooling, electricity or transport.”
Noyon left ESTIF at the end of March 2014 after more than four years. Welling: “I like to thank Xavier for his support and sterling work as ESTIF Secretary General during what has been a difficult period for the industry. I wish him all the very best for the future.”