The Bosch Group is significantly expanding its production of solar thermal systems. This year, the Thermotechnology division expects sales of more than 150,000 solar collectors, around 60 percent more than in 2006. Bosch is looking to more than double sales by 2009. This year, Bosch is looking to use solar and geothermal systems to boost sales overall by just under 100 million euros (approx. U.S. $133 million) to 400 million euros (approx. $533 million). The market for solar thermal systems is growing strongly, with worldwide sales last year of 1.2 billion euros (approx. $1.6 billion). Growth to 2.6 billion euros (approx. $3.5 billion) is expected within the next five years.
Bosch is meeting this rise in demand by expanding production. Its location in Wettringen, Germany, has been continuously enlarged. The number of associates at the location has doubled to 170 the last two years alone. In addition, a new production line recently went into production in Aveiro, Portugal. Demand for solar thermal systems is increasing in the southern European market in particular. New regulations came into force in Spain last year that require solar technology to be installed in new buildings and whenever major renovation work is carried out. This meant that the surface area of newly installed collectors nearly doubled in 2006 compared to the previous year. By 2010, the surface area of collectors installed in Spain is expected to total five million square meters. By way of comparison, this figure means that 250 million fewer liters of heating oil are used and environmental impact is reduced by around 550,000 tons of CO2 compared with conventional hot water systems.
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