Lebanon´s success in driving down prices

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 1, 2018
Lebanon learning curveThe Lebanese solar thermal market has made great strides in bringing down the cost of solar water heating. Between 2010 and 2016, average system prices decreased by 43 %, from USD 1,880 to USD 1,313. This is one of the key findings presented by Tony Gebrayel, Energy Engineer at LCEC, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, during the Beirut Energy Forum in September 2017 (see the attached document). The reduction was achieved by stable sales of between 50,000 and 60,000 m² of collector area per year.
Source: LCEC

District heating shows lower total socio-economic cost in future energy system

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 31, 2018
Costs for ST 1What would the economic impact on a future energy system be if one were to unlock the full solar thermal potential in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy? According to a study conducted by Aalborg University as part of the IEA SHC Task 52 research project Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments, exploiting the maximum potential will result in significant cost reductions if solar heat is supplied not individually but by district heating. The graph shows small changes of between -0.1 % and +0.2 % in total socio-economic cost both in the District Heating scenario (expansion of district heating grids) and the Heat Savings one (retrofits reduce heat demand in buildings) when the maximum solar thermal potential is realised by using either decentralised solutions or district heating to supply heat to consumers. The key factor influencing the outcome is the cost of solar thermal systems. 
Graph: Aalborg University

Solar-heated hotels in MENA region

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 29, 2018
GIZ Hotel BroschureSolar thermal can easily provide cheap, secure and clean heat to drive growth in the tourism sector. But what about optimal system sizes and applications? A new brochure has been trying to find answers to this question. Titled Solar PV & Thermal Applications for Hotel Sector, it has been created jointly by the German Agency for International Cooperation and the Egyptian Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as part of a project called Re-Activate: Promoting Employment through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the MENA Region.

Three ways to read European market statistics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2018
Solar Heat EuropeThere is more than one way to read 2016’s market statistics published by Solar Heat Europe about 2 months ago. One could emphasise the great achievements made in reducing emissions and creating jobs in the solar heating and cooling sector in Europe. One could likewise point to Denmark as a leader in solar district heating. A third possibility would be to concentrate on the continued decline in most key markets in Europe and the stark difference between renewable heating targets and their fulfilment in many countries. You can download the 5-page brochure here.

CSTIF embarks on a journey of innovation and quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 25, 2018
CSTIF conference 2017CSTIF invited its members to the annual assembly, held in early December in Jinan, Shandong Province, to discuss the state of the market in China. Titled Innovation and quality: Embark on a journey into a new era, this event with around 400 members of the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation presented an opportunity for CSTIF’s Executive Director Xiaoli Zhang to announce the latest market figures. 2017 saw the installation of 37.23 million m² of collector area, a decline of 5.7 % compared to the year before. Still, the drop in sales was less than in 2016, when the market declined by 9 %. The total capacity in operation rose to 478 million m² (334.46 GWth).
Photo: CSTIF

1,500 preheating systems in India’s silk region

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 23, 2018
Photo: Jaideep MalaviyaSolar process heat has gained popularity in the centre of India’s silk production – more specifically, in Sidlaghatta, a town in the southern state of Karnataka. The statistics of Karnataka’s Department of Sericulture shows that a little over 1,500 units between 2 and 10 m² have been switched from wood or briquettes to solar for preheating the traditional stoves. The Department of Sericulture has been promoting the technology among silk producers by providing a 75 % subsidy for any reeling unit partly heated by solar energy. The use of sunlight can cut firewood consumption in half.
Photo: Nuetech Solar Systems

Namibia’s path to a solar thermal future

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 19, 2018
Namibia Workshop SoltrainThe Namibia Solar Thermal Technology (STT) Roadmap outlines the country’s path to 1.5 million m² of collector area by 2030. The aim is to have an average 0.5 m² installed per inhabitant by then (see the attached document). During a workshop in Windhoek last June, stakeholders from policy and administration voiced their unequivocal support for the implementation of the STT Roadmap 2030, which was developed by a consortium of experts and funded by SOLTRAIN, the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative.
Photo: Namibia Energy Institute

Global certification saves money and time

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 18, 2018
To enter new markets, solar thermal collector manufacturers need to have their products tested and certified as meeting local standards. Thanks to GSCN, the Global Solar Certification Network, they can complete several certification processes with only one test cycle. “A collector manufacturer can save a lot of time and money because its collector test report from one region will be accepted to receive a certificate in another region,” GSCN Manager Jan Erik Nielsen from Denmark said in an interview with solarthermalworld.org. 

Solar thermal loses popularity in Malta

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 17, 2018
Malta Subsidy StatisticsThe Mediterranean island of Malta is a paradise for all those who enjoy basking in the sun. But despite the country’s high levels of solar irradiation, its people haven’t yet warmed to solar thermal. A recent study by Malta’s Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) has shown a declining number of new subsidised solar water heaters, while demand for residential PV installations remained high between 2011 and 2016 (see chart based on pp. 9 and 10 of the attached document).
Source: REWS, formerly Malta Resources Authority

Guide for potential investors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 15, 2018
Solar Thermal NowAgainst the low standing of solar thermal technology, the British Solar Trade Association (STA) has launched a 16-page colourful brochure. The guide called Solar Thermal Now - A guide for domestic, business & public sector investors showcases the technology’s merits, the flexibility and broad application of solar thermal, while highlighting its enormous potential for cost and carbon savings. The report is available for download attached and association members can order hard copies. The brochure reveals some of the misconceptions in the support structure for ST in UK.