After seven years, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) is planning to launch another international research cooperation on PVT technology. PVT includes panels which combine photovoltaics and solar thermal into one unit either as glazed or unglazed systems. The first and only task on PVT systems was completed in June 2010. The new one, entitled Application of PVT Collectors and New Solutions with PVT Systems, is in the definition phase. It is expected to start in July 2017 and run for 3.5 years. Interested researchers and industry representatives have been invited to attend a two-day workshop at ETH university in Zurich, Switzerland, from 16 March (1 p.m.) to 17 March (12 a.m.) in order to discuss crucial aspects and the structure of the global initiative.
Chart: Jean-Christophe Hadorn, Swiss energy consultant, contracted by the SFOE, Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has just published a study on end customer prices for solar thermal systems in Switzerland. It turns out that, including installation, a typical Swiss solar thermal system configuration for a single-family home costs almost twice as much in Switzerland as they would in neighbouring Austria and about 30 % more than in southern Germany (see chart on the left). High labour costs and quality standards account for much of the price difference, but they cannot explain all of it. The study, which was carried out by Swiss company Ernst Basler + Partner, includes measures that can be taken to reduce prices on the market (see the attached document in German).