Italy: 10,000 m² ORC-Connected Fresnel and Parabolic Trough Fields

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 19, 2017
Fresnel Collector Field ItalyItaly’s feed-in tariff for medium-size concentrating solar power plants has supported the installation of a 10,000 m² Fresnel collector array in Sardinia (see photo). The mirrors have been in operation since spring this year and are connected to an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit with 600 kW of nominal electric power. Construction for a second demonstration system, a 5 MWth parabolic trough field linked to an ORC turbine, is currently underway in Sicily. Both installations heat thermal oil to between 250 and 300 °C and use it to transfer heat directly from the solar panels to the ORC units by Italian-based Turboden, bringing their electrical efficiency to up to 25 %.
Photo: CSP-F (FERA Group)
 

Mexico: New Idea Exchange on Solar Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 18, 2017
Mexico Platform MeetingDuring an event in Mexico City on 30 August, a collaboration agreement was signed to establish a platform for promoting solar heat in Mexico. The partners in this project are ANES, the national solar energy association; DKTI Solar, the Large-Scale Solar Energy Programme by the German Agency for International Cooperation; and CONUEE, the National Commission for Energy Efficiency. The agreement is intended to result in an inter-institutional platform, to which stakeholders will contribute at their own expense.
Photo: GIZ México
 

Argentina: New Solar Chamber to Push for National Incentives

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 13, 2017
SWH ArgentinaThe first time that the new Cámara Argentina de Fabricantes de Equipos de Energía Solar Térmica (CAFEEST) (Argentine Chamber of Solar Thermal Equipment Manufacturers) was presented to a wider audience was on 4 September in Buenos Aires. The chamber’s assembly meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Industry. Currently, CAFEEST has 20 members, mostly manufacturers, and seven more may join soon. Dardo Allaragüe, President of CAFEEST and head of Montajes Rosario, a solar system supplier, said that the objective was to support a growing local industry, help create jobs and participate in implementing standards and certification schemes. There’s also a new law being discussed in parliament to further solar thermal installations, rules and incentives across the country. 
Photo: Montajes Rosario
 

Brazil: Energy Ministry with Big Plans for Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 6, 2017
Amauricio Gomes Lúcio / Eduardo AzevedoThe focus of the Intersolar South America in Sao Paulo: photovoltaics. Increasing electricity prices in Brazil and net metering options have generated interest among PV manufacturers from all over the world. The fair organisers, German-based Solar Promotion, said that the number of exhibitors had risen by another 20 % to more than 220. This only made it even more crucial for the newly founded Brazilian solar thermal industry association Abrasol to fly the flag. The opening speech on the Strategic Importance of Solar Thermal in Brazil, the title of the solar heat conference day on 23 August, came from Eduardo Azevedo (right), State Secretary of Energy Planning and Development at the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, MME. He underlined the importance of replacing electric shower heads with solar water heaters to increase efficiency. The ministry expects the share of residential SWHs to double from today’s 7 % to 14 % by 2026 (see the following chart). The photo shows Abrasol´s President, Amauricio Gomes Lúcio, presenting Azevedo with the Brazilian Atlas of Solar Energy.
Photo: Intersolar South America / Solar Promotion

IEA SHC: New Task to Use Solar Energy for Water Treatment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 5, 2017
AEE INTECOn 18 September, there will be a definition meeting for a new task called Solar Energy in Industrial Water Management in Gleisdorf, Austria. The initiator of this international research project within the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme is Christoph Brunner from Austrian organisation AEE INTEC. The aim will be to investigate and improve solar-powered water separation and purification in industrial settings. Researchers and industry representatives are invited to attend the one-day workshop to discuss the agenda and the structure of the global initiative. The photo shows AEE INTEC’s laboratory-size membrane distillation system.
Photo: AEE INTEC
 

India: UNDP-GEF Project Paves Way for Commercialising Industrial Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 4, 2017
Dr GoswamiThe five-year UNDP-GEF project Market Development of Concentrating Solar Thermal Heating (CSH) Technologies for Process Heat Applications has paved the way towards commercialisation. The objective was to accelerate demand for CSH systems in industrial, commercial and public facilities by organising stakeholder workshops, strengthening the industrial supply chain and implementing quality assurance measures. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Dr R P Goswami, National Project Coordinator and Director at the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, about CSH market development in India. 
Photo: MNRE 
 

Serbia: EU Supports 903 m² Solar District Heating Installation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 3, 2017
Banat sun 4 all Throughout the last years, the EU has been criticised for many things, and the UK has now been the first to decide on leaving. Still, there are good examples of how the union can benefit even non-member countries. For instance, there is a project called Energy Efficiency – The Premise of a Better Environment in Romania-Serbia Cross-Border Area, which was presented at the Energy Week in Belgrade in mid-June. This joint effort of two cities in the Banat region, Pancevo in Serbia and Resita in Romania, required EUR 1.4 million, mostly financed by the EU as part of the Interreg – IPA CBC Program Romania-Serbia Programme.
 

Low-Energy Buildings: Solar Thermal, PV or Heat Pump?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 1, 2017
Woche der SonneWhat is the best way to supply heat and power to low-energy buildings? Although there is no single answer to this question, solarthermalworld.org simulated the installation of a solar thermal unit, a PV system, a heat pump and a gas boiler in a low-energy house in southern Germany. The results show that solar technologies are significantly more profitable than heat pump systems. The largest solar field – consisting of 10 m² each of PV and solar thermal combined with a gas boiler – has by far the lowest cost (EUR 35,876) over 20 years in operation. 
 

MENA/Chile: Concentrating Solar Benchmark Costs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2017
SunShotA tender for 94.5 USD/MWhel in Dubai and an R&D initiative called SunShot in the United States have shown how the cost of concentrated solar power (CSP) could be lowered at a steady pace thanks to economies of scale and optimised manufacturing and operation. Though the solar power market has been the driver for most of these developments, their outcomes are likewise relevant to solar thermal, where concentrating technologies have been used to provide heating or cooling for industrial processes. Two recent webinars organised by Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights and focused on CSP in the MENA region and Chile had developers and researchers discuss the main drivers for cost cutting and the technology outlook in the short and medium term. The chart illustrates the SunShot aim to bring down the cost of parabolic trough collectors from around 200 USD/m² to 75 USD/m².
Source: Department of Energy, USA
 

Norway: Oslo’s Green Transformation and Tiny Solar Thermal Contribution

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 23, 2017
Oslo SchoolGlobally, Scandinavian countries have been leading in a lot of areas such as freedom of the press and social equality. Norway’s capital Oslo is now striving to become a big city example in green transformation and environmental protection. As far back as in June 2016, Oslo’s city council approved a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 % in 2020 and 95 % in 2030. To meet this target, it will employ measures such as “to phase out fossil fuel heating in homes and offices by 2020,” according to the Renewables 2017 Global Status Report
Photo: Terje Grønmo Arkitekter / Tove Lauluten
 

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