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
 

Italy: 6,820 Municipalities Report Solar Thermal Use

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2017
Legambiente Report TitleIn 2005, Legambiente, the largest environmental association in Italy, began publishing an annual report called Comuni Rinnovabili to show renewable deployment in Italian municipalities. The number of communities which had solar thermal installations increased from 108 in 2005 to 6,820 in this year’s edition, which is based on 2016 figures. Data is collected by sending a questionnaire directly to the municipalities and cross-checking the responses with official figures from GSE, the state-owned business managing renewable incentive schemes in Italy, and information and reports sent in by regional and industry associations and individual companies. Less populated municipalities are doing well in these statistics: Of the 6,820 communities which reported solar thermal installations, 4,454 are small and very small ones with a population below 5,000.
 

French Independent Heat Supplier: “Optimise and de-risk all contracts”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 17, 2017
French-based NewHeat is a rapidly growing start-up. About two years after it was founded in December 2015, management has raised almost EUR 1.8 million from private investors to finance the first solar heat delivery projects and strengthen its global sales force. NewHeat, headquartered in Bordeaux, France, calls itself an independent integrated solar heat producer aiming at end customers in district heating and industry. The company is also an industry member of Task 55 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme, Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into DHC Networks. CEO Hugues Defréville (left photo) and CTO Pierre Delmas not only established the start-up two years ago, but have knowledge and skills that complement each other to advance the business.
Photos: NewHeat

Lithuania: Can Solar Thermal Beat Low Biomass Heat Prices?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 14, 2017
Lithuania District HeatingWith biomass prices on the rise, solar district heating could become profitable in Lithuania. But without investment grants, payback periods were still too long, it said in the conclusion of a 2015 SDH market study by LEI, the Lithuanian Energy Institute (see the attached document in Lithuanian). The photo shows the country’s first SDH system set up in 2011. Installed on the roof of the boiler house, it preheats water for a wood chip boiler in the district heating station of Dūkštas, a town in eastern Lithuania. The demonstration unit with 82 m² of vacuum tube collectors received funding from international organisations.
Photo: Lithuanian Energy Institute
 

Denmark: Concentrating Solar Collectors for District Heat in Northern Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 11, 2017
BronderslevBrønderslev, a Danish municipality with a population of 12,500, is setting up a multi-purpose renewable heat plant for their district heating network. So far, local utility Brønderslev Forsyning has been operating seven gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants and two gas boilers to produce 130 GWh of heat each year. In the future, most of the yearly district heating demand is planned to be met by a new Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit which receives its energy from two wood chip boilers with 10 MW each and from a 16.6 MWth parabolic trough collector field with a mirror area of 27,000 m². 
Photo: Aalborg CSP
 

Austria: How to De-Risk Renewable Investments in Industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 9, 2017
Results World Map SurveyTwo-thirds of the 71 companies listed on the World Map of Solar Process Heat Specialists 2017 agreed that achieving bankability for solar process heat projects required huge efforts to be made. They said that key barriers to implementation were a lack of technical expertise in risk assessment at financial institutions and the relatively small investment amounts in individual projects. To rectify this situation, EU project TrustEE is aiming to combine several of industry’s energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE+RE) investment projects into one package to be offered to pension funds and assurance companies. Important financial terms can be found in the glossary at the bottom of this article.
Source: solrico
 

ESTIF Rebranding: “We are solar, we are heat, we are Europe”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 7, 2017
Robin WellingThe European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has recently changed its name to Solar Heat Europe and developed a new corporate identity. It represents the interests of the solar thermal sector at EU institutions and is home to around 50 European solar thermal manufacturers, national industry associations, research institutes and service providers. Solar Heat Europe’s headquarters are in Brussels, where a team of four strives to advance solar heat solutions. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with President Robin Welling about the purpose of the rebranding effort. Welling is Managing Director of Austrian collector manufacturer and system supplier Tisun and has been President of ESTIF since 2010.
Source: Solar Heat Europe & Tisun
 

Germany: Tool to Calculate Solar Feed into District Heating Network

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 1, 2017
Map District Heating in GermanyInterest in solar district heating is growing in Germany. A map by German research organisation Solites shows the systems currently in operation to be 23 totalling 49,600 m² of collector area (34.7 MWth). Last year saw the addition of four installations with a combined area of 12,921 m²; one of them was Germany’s first record-size solar district heating plant in 11 years, in Senftenberg. Solites has now developed a tool to calculate the yield of SDH plants. Called SCFW 2.0 (ScenoCalc Fernwärme 2.0), it is available as a free download at www.scfw.de and is hoped to increase transparency by improving the comparability of solar district heating plants and solutions.
Map: Solites
 

Solar Thermal Shows Highest Energy Yield Per Square Metre

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 31, 2017
Area Yield ComparisonThe annual energy yield per square metre is much higher for solar collectors than for other renewable technologies, as the figure on the left shows. Compared to PV, solar collectors produce, on average, three times as many kilowatt-hours. Compared to biomass or bioethanol, output is in average as much as 43 times their yield. The chart shows end energy production and compares directly thermal and electric kilowatt-hours. The grey part of each bar marks the deviation in yield based on different estimates. The absolute values can be found in a table at the bottom of this article.
Source: Fraunhofer ISE, PlanEnergi and Chalmers University
 

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