South Africa: Workshop Discusses Market Barriers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 5, 2009

Solar water heaters possess a huge potential in South Africa. “Some 100,000 houses are built every year, 30,000 homes are renovated, and about 400,000 electric geysers are replaced,” Thulani Gcabashe, head of Head of Energy Building Africa Holding, explained at the national solar water heating workshop in Midrand, South Africa, this February.

Use of Renewable Energy in Buildings: Experiences with Solar Thermal Utilization (2006)

Submitted by Hans Craen on May 4, 2009

This 2006 paper gives an overview of the possibilities of solar thermal applications in buildings in China. The paper looks into the current state of solar thermal applications: solar water collectors, floor radiation heating and air conditioning systems. It also touches upon the design aspects and practicalities of integrating solar systems in both residential and public buildings.

The paper concludes by underlining the expected growth in importance of integrating solar thermal schemes in buildings.

Perspectives for Concentrating Solar Power in Coastal Areas of Mediterranean Sea

Submitted by Hans Craen on May 4, 2009

This paper looks into the possible applications of CSP on the coastal areas of the mediterranean region. Starting with providing a short overview on the available CSP technologies, the document also looks into what the potential and market perspectives are for this technology.

Australia's Push for Solar Hot Water

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2009

 inauguration of test institute in Australia
New testing facility: Peter Garrett (right), Australian Environment Minister, officially inaugurated the solar testing facility at the University of South Australia’s Sustainable Energy Industry Support Centre in April. Photo: University of South Australia 

Growth Above Average in Brazil

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 1, 2009

Since 2006, the solar thermal market in Brazil has shown growth rates above average. And according to some experts, these growth rates will continue during the coming years, despite the global economic crisis.

Brazil has used solar thermal technologies to heat water in domestic households for about 20 years now. The increase in newly installed solar collectors per year has been slow, but stable (see chart below) - with the sole exception of the Brazilian electricity crisis in 2001 that caused the rate of installed collectors to increase to 50 %.

First National Rebate Programme in China

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 30, 2009

The first national incentive programme for installing solar water heaters in China's rural areas has just been introduced. In April, solar thermal system suppliers could bid to become part of the national subsidy programme. The central government will then cover 13% of the investment costs of selected solar water heaters.

Swiss Cantons leading Energy Policy Efforts

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 29, 2009

Switzerland is finally taking on a broader approach to climate protection. The majority of the 26 cantons have adopted a regulation placing the maximum share of non-renewable energies in new heating systems at 80 %. This decision can be traced back to an initiative of the Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors some years ago.

New and Improved Incentive Schemes in Canada

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 27, 2009

Canadians benefit from a series of improvements that the federal supporting measures for solar thermal technology brought forth. First of all, the funding for the ecoEnergy Retrofit Homes Program – a programme for residential home owners - has been increased by 300 million Canadian Dollars (CAD). The rebate for the solar thermal system of an individual family rose from CAD 500 to CAD 1,250.

 

Laser-welded Flat Plate Collectors from China

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 23, 2009

Chinese collector manufacturers have recently discovered the advantages of laser welding for the production of absorber sheets. Several flat plate collector manufacturers are now working on this technology. Hailin Solar is the first to offer laser-welded collectors.

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