Solar district heating potential of small towns in Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 11, 2018
Most small European towns connected to a district heating network have enough land available for a solar field to meet 20 % of heat demand. In all, 93 % of the identified solar heat potential can be produced at a price of less than 50 EUR/MWh. These are the key findings from a study by PlanEnergi, a Danish consultancy. Its authors analysed maps showing 2,480 district heating networks in 22 countries that have no means of using waste heat for the task. The chart shows the 10 which have the greatest potential for solar district heating at less than 50 EUR/MWh. PlanEnergi explained the methodology and summarised the results in a report titled Solar District Heating Trends and Possibilities. It has been published by research platform Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments under the auspices of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
All charts and table: PlanEnergi

Water-energy nexus in industrial sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 9, 2018
Water and energy are the most important resources globally. The term ‘water-energy nexus’ was coined to underline their close connection, and the phrase has become increasingly popular with international environmental organisations. In mid-June, a new research platform, Solar energy in industrial water and waste water management, was launched by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme to analyse the link between water and energy across the industrial sector. The kick-off meeting is scheduled to take place between 1 and 2 October in Graz, Austria. 
Chart: AEE INTEC

New coating manufacturer in China

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 5, 2018
Photo: SanqiaonengLast December, Shandong-based Sanqiaoneng introduced a new line of absorber plates, which had taken five years to develop. According to the company website, Singaporean investment holding company Rowsley had spent USD 5 million on the design of a selective coating for these metal plates. Professor He Tao from the China Academy of Building Research (middle of the photo), visited Sanqiaoneng’s coating plant in late January. 
Photo: Sanqiaoneng

Dish technology in Asia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 3, 2018
Photo: Megawatt SolutionsA webinar that took place on 22 May put the spotlight on concentrating dish systems manufactured in India and Pakistan. Titled Concentrating Solar Heat Solutions Available Today for Carbon-Free Industrial Heat and Steam Generation and organised by Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights, it highlighted the main advantages of these dishes: flexibility and low space requirements. The photo shows a solar process heat installation at a dairy in India. A recording of the entire event and the presentations that were held are available online.
Photo: Megawatt Solutions

Crowdfunding the Heat Changers campaign

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 2, 2018
Photos: Heat ChangersThe German Solar Heating Initiative has put together a crowdfunding project to fund a consumer campaign called Heat Changers. Its initiators, Marisol Oropeza and Stefan Abrecht (first and second image from top left), have already brought some well-known supporters on board, including Markus Elsässer, Founder and Managing Director of Solar Promotion and organiser of the Intersolar Europe (bottom left), and Australian Ken Guthrie, formerly chair of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (top right). The funding deadline for the EUR 35,000 project on kickstarter.com is 19 July 2018. The money is intended to be used for a six-month solar heat promotion campaign via social media, a website and other online tools.
Photos: Heat Changers

Global electricity demand for air conditioning to triple by 2050

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 28, 2018
“Growing demand for air conditioners is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate,” Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said as he presented the findings of The Future of Cooling report in May. The chart shows that, in the baseline scenario, cooling is projected to be responsible for between 25 % and nearly 50 % of peak electricity loads in the United States, the Middle East, Indonesia, India and Brazil in 2050. Globally, demand is expected to triple by the same year. The world’s stock of AC units is said to rise to 5.6 billion by 2050, up from 1.6 billion today, which reportedly means an average of 10 ACs will be sold each second over the next 30 years.
Chart: OECD/IEA

Daniel Mugnier Is New IEA SHC Chairman

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 27, 2018
The new chair of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, also known as IEA SHC, will be Daniel Mugnier, a leading expert in solar cooling. Mugnier, who heads the R&D department at French-based Tecsol, was elected during an executive committee meeting in Stockholm on 21 June and will hold the position for two years. He will replace Australian Ken Guthrie, who has chaired IEA SHC since 2014.
Photo: Tecsol

Europe’s first-ever renewable heating and cooling target

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2018
Renewable Energy Directive for 2030After night-long negotiations, the European Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030. At long last, discussions that started in November 2016 came to a close in the early morning of 14 June. The new regulatory framework stipulates that a 32 % renewable energy target is to be achieved by the EU in 2030. “This is a substantial increase compared to the 27 % originally proposed by the European Commission,” said Pedro Dias, Secretary General of Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF. “Moreover, the Commission can now take corrective action if this overall target is not met.”

Land secured for Big Solar Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2018
SilkeborgBig Solar Graz has reached a significant milestone by purchasing the land on which to construct a solar field and a seasonal storage system. In mid-June, the project partners told the local press that they had bought 55 hectares in the south of Graz, in the Austrian state of Styria, between the city’s airport and the A9 motorway. A flyer by the region’s public utility, Energie Steiermark, stated that the area was large enough to accommodate a 220,000 m² solar field (154 MWth) and 900,000 m³ of seasonal storage, including three ponds. It has been modelled on the world’s biggest solar district heating plant to date, a 110 MWth installation in the Danish town of Silkeborg (see photo).
Photo: Energie Steiermark

EU labelling: “Solar devices to be classified as heaters”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2018
Image: Solar Heating InitiativeThe German-based Solar Heating Initiative has developed a new calculation method to label solar thermal systems based on the Ecodesign Directive 2005/32/EC. It put the method, which allows for a fair assessment of solar thermal energy input into a heating system, forward for consideration in February, at a stakeholder meeting organised by Dutch-based consultancy Van Holsteijn en Kemna, also known as VHK. Together with BRG Building Solutions, the company has been appointed by the European Commission to carry out a review of the eco-design and labelling regulations on water heaters and tanks.
Image: Solar Heating Initiative

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