Brazil: Energy Ministry with Big Plans for Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 6, 2017
Amauricio Gomes Lúcio / Eduardo AzevedoThe focus of the Intersolar South America in Sao Paulo: photovoltaics. Increasing electricity prices in Brazil and net metering options have generated interest among PV manufacturers from all over the world. The fair organisers, German-based Solar Promotion, said that the number of exhibitors had risen by another 20 % to more than 220. This only made it even more crucial for the newly founded Brazilian solar thermal industry association Abrasol to fly the flag. The opening speech on the Strategic Importance of Solar Thermal in Brazil, the title of the solar heat conference day on 23 August, came from Eduardo Azevedo (right), State Secretary of Energy Planning and Development at the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, MME. He underlined the importance of replacing electric shower heads with solar water heaters to increase efficiency. The ministry expects the share of residential SWHs to double from today’s 7 % to 14 % by 2026 (see the following chart). The photo shows Abrasol´s President, Amauricio Gomes Lúcio, presenting Azevedo with the Brazilian Atlas of Solar Energy.
Photo: Intersolar South America / Solar Promotion

IEA SHC: New Task to Use Solar Energy for Water Treatment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 5, 2017
AEE INTECOn 18 September, there will be a definition meeting for a new task called Solar Energy in Industrial Water Management in Gleisdorf, Austria. The initiator of this international research project within the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme is Christoph Brunner from Austrian organisation AEE INTEC. The aim will be to investigate and improve solar-powered water separation and purification in industrial settings. Researchers and industry representatives are invited to attend the one-day workshop to discuss the agenda and the structure of the global initiative. The photo shows AEE INTEC’s laboratory-size membrane distillation system.
Photo: AEE INTEC
 

India: UNDP-GEF Project Paves Way for Commercialising Industrial Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 4, 2017
Dr GoswamiThe five-year UNDP-GEF project Market Development of Concentrating Solar Thermal Heating (CSH) Technologies for Process Heat Applications has paved the way towards commercialisation. The objective was to accelerate demand for CSH systems in industrial, commercial and public facilities by organising stakeholder workshops, strengthening the industrial supply chain and implementing quality assurance measures. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Dr R P Goswami, National Project Coordinator and Director at the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, about CSH market development in India. 
Photo: MNRE 
 

Serbia: EU Supports 903 m² Solar District Heating Installation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 3, 2017
Banat sun 4 all Throughout the last years, the EU has been criticised for many things, and the UK has now been the first to decide on leaving. Still, there are good examples of how the union can benefit even non-member countries. For instance, there is a project called Energy Efficiency – The Premise of a Better Environment in Romania-Serbia Cross-Border Area, which was presented at the Energy Week in Belgrade in mid-June. This joint effort of two cities in the Banat region, Pancevo in Serbia and Resita in Romania, required EUR 1.4 million, mostly financed by the EU as part of the Interreg – IPA CBC Program Romania-Serbia Programme.
 

Low-Energy Buildings: Solar Thermal, PV or Heat Pump?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 1, 2017
Woche der SonneWhat is the best way to supply heat and power to low-energy buildings? Although there is no single answer to this question, solarthermalworld.org simulated the installation of a solar thermal unit, a PV system, a heat pump and a gas boiler in a low-energy house in southern Germany. The results show that solar technologies are significantly more profitable than heat pump systems. The largest solar field – consisting of 10 m² each of PV and solar thermal combined with a gas boiler – has by far the lowest cost (EUR 35,876) over 20 years in operation. 
 

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
 

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