During the first eighteen months of Slovakia’s subsidy programme, 3,913 households applied for grants from it. According to the Slovak Agency of Innovation and Energy (SIEA), this means that from a total budget of EUR 8 million, EUR 4.3 million still remain for allocation. The “Programme for an increased usage of biomass and solar energy in households” started on 20 April 2009. The programme’s applicants have been more interested in solar collectors than in biomass boilers: only 730 households applied for a subsidy for a biomass boiler, whereas 3,183 households applied for a solar system.
According to the overall number of applications, solar collectors have already been installed by 3,160 family house owners and 915 flat apartments owners since the start of the Slovak subsidy system.
Thermosolar, Slovakia’s largest collector manufacturer, stated in its press release that although the Slovak Republic has managed to cushion a dramatic fall in sales thanks to state subsidies, this measure has no longer been enough to stabilise sales in 2010, which is why they have decreased slightly. The population seems to be investing less in long-term consumable goods. Still, Thermosolar is again expecting a rise in sales in 2011.
According to a representative survey carried out by the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) in May/June 2010, a solar system has already been installed in 25,000 family houses and flat apartments. Thermosolar estimates the overall number of installations in the Slovak Republic to be at around 28,000 until now.
The results of the survey are shown in the following chart. 21.5% of the interviewees have displayed interest in obtaining a solar system. Out of all house owners in the Slovak Republic, 5.6% are planning to obtain a solar system within the next five years and 26% are planning to obtain a solar system, but do not know the exact time frame.
Are you interested in using a solar water heating system: results of 1,464 face to face interviews carried out in May/June 2010
Clearly less enthusiastic about installing a solar system are the owners of flat apartments. Less than 1 % of flat apartment owners are planning to buy a solar system within the next five years. Only 10 % are thinking about buying a solar system somewhere in the future. Ironically, almost 30% of Slovaks owning a flat apartment agreed that they would like to use a solar collector, but they are not the ones who decide on the matter. And this although calculations by SIEA have proven that investments in a proper solar installation might pay off considerably sooner for flat apartment owners than for family house owners.
17.5 % of the interviewees have answered to be interested in a combi solar system that provides energy for domestic hot water and space heating.
The survey consisted of 1,464 face-to-face interviews. The sample represents the population between 17 and 79 years of age, factoring in age, sex, district and city size.
This text was written by Vladislava Adamenkova, a Czech student of international business studies in Vienna, Austria.
Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA): http://www.siea.sk/
Thermosolar: http://www.thermosolar.com/ or http://www.thermosolar.sk
Slovakian Economy Ministry: http://www.economy.gov.sk/index/index.php?lang=en
Further details about the SIEA survey (in Slovak only)