IEA SHC: Solar Heat Worldwide Highlights Remarkable Achievements and Addresses Challenges

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 2, 2017
Solar Heat Worldwide TitleIn late May, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) published its annual report titled Solar Heat Worldwide (see the attached document). It is the most comprehensive study of solar heating and cooling markets around the globe and has been referenced by international organisations such as REN21 and IRENA. Based on data from 66 countries, the most recent report has grown from 76 pages in 2016 to 86 in 2017. It includes a new section which highlights last years’ encouraging market development of megawatt systems for solar district heating and solar process heat and a second part providing in-depth figures about the national and global markets of 2015.
 

Switzerland: Rising Interest in PVT Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2017
PVT CaotecThe Swiss-based SPF - Institute of Solar Technology has recently published a report on behalf of EnergieSchweiz, a programme by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, about the market situation of PV-thermal technologies (PVT) in Switzerland and across all of Europe (see attached document in German). The researchers from SPF have found that there are various market-ready and proven products available. They counted around 300 PVT installations in Switzerland alone. A particularly good example is shown on the photo: a PVT installation integrated into the facade of an office building. 
Photo: Caotec
 

Europe: Collector Field Is Main Cost Driver of Industrial Solar Heat Plants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2017
Otti SymposiumScientists from Germany and Switzerland have recently analysed the cost structures of systems producing solar process heat. They presented their findings in mid-May at the Solar Thermal Energy Symposium, where they said they had identified great potential for cost-cutting and discovered a large spread of installation prices. Planning SHIP systems involved more work than doing the same for domestic applications, but it was the collectors that made up the lion’s share of the investment. The three-day symposium attracted around 230 experts from research and industry. As Germany’s major annual conference on solar heating and cooling, it focused this year on turnkey heating solutions, including solar ones for the housing market and industrial processes. It was the 27th symposium and, at the same time, the last one organised by the East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI, which filed for bankruptcy in February 2017. The symposium’s board of advisers has taken over sponsorship until a new conference organiser is found for 2018 (see attached flyer in German). 
Photo: OTTI
 

Brazil: Promising SHIP Case Studies in Pernambuco State

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 30, 2017
Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) is taking its first steps on the Brazilian market. Considering the mere handful of SHIP plants in operation in a country as huge as this one, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is contemplating SHIP support measures as part of its long-term project Concentrating Solar Power in Brazil (2013 – 2017). There have been feasibility studies on SHIP plants in the north-eastern states of Pernambuco and Ceara and the first online training course on solar process heat in March 2017 attracted 80 participants from across the country. 
Map: wikitravel.org

Panama: Solar Thermal to Benefit from New Building Regulations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2017
On 17 November 2016, Panama’s secretary of energy approved Resolution No. 3142 to create a new Sustainable Construction Standard Guide with the aim of reducing energy consumption in newbuilds. The new building regulations target a 15 % reduction in energy use in newbuilds within one year and a 20 % one in two years compared to the baseline values on pages 28 and 29 of the attached document. The authors of the guide consider solar thermal to be one of the most preferable solutions to achieve these efficiency targets (see page 53). However, there has not been an effective mechanism in place to implement the suggested changes and ensure compliance. Additionally, the Panamanian government is coordinating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to establish a new support scheme for solar thermal.
Map: GHI Solar Map © 2017 Solargis
 

Poland: Severe Market Decline

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 27, 2017
Poland Market DevelopmentPoland´s market collapsed in 2016. A decline had been expected, but that it would be so severe surprised even insiders from the industry. Only 115,400 m² (81 MWth) were added in 2016, a whopping 58 % less than the 277,000 m² (194 MWth) installed the year prior. Consequently, Poland dropped from rank 3 to 6 on the list of the largest European markets. Between 2012 and 2014, only Germany and Italy had sold more collector area. Since 2015, annual figures have come from SPIUG, the Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Heating Appliances, and these numbers correspond fairly well to the 2016 ones by British consultancy BSRIA. Before 2015, annual market statistics had been published by the Polish Institute for Renewable Energy.
Source: IEO and SPIUG
 

Spain: Fabrisolia Produces 80 % of BDR Thermea’s Collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 26, 2017
Fabrisolia Ceest FactoryThe one presenting Dutch-based BDR Thermea’s solar heating solutions at the Solar Show Africa 2017 in late March in South Africa was Fabrisolia, the new solar thermal centre of excellence created by the company group. It consists of a factory for collector panel assembly and a solar thermal R&D centre and is located in Castellbisbal near Barcelona. BDR Thermea employs around 6,500 people and operates on more than 70 national markets around the globe. The group pursues a multi-brand approach, with several brands for solar thermal systems: Baxi, Baymak, Brötje, De Dietrich, Oertli and Remeha. 
Photo: BDR Thermea
 

China: “There is strong competition between PV and solar thermal cooling”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 24, 2017
YazakiTwo larger solar thermal cooling installations were put into operation in China in 2016. One of them was a 23-kW Yazaki absorption system (left photo) and one a new developed 50-kW variable-effect absorption chiller driven by a Fresnel collector (right). Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Professor Yanjun Dai of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) about the market and technological advances of solar cooling in China.
Photos: SJTU

IEA Task 55: Solar District Heating Means Big Business

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 23, 2017
Task 55Solar district heating is attractive business. Not only does this become obvious when looking at the 347 MWth of newly installed SDH capacity in Denmark in 2016, but also when one hears about Big Solar, a 250 MWth collector field – with 1.8 million m² of seasonal storage – planned to cover 20 % of the energy demand in the Austrian city of Graz by 2020. It certainly explains the high interest in international research platform Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into DHC Networks, or Task 55 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. “We welcomed 33 participants from eight countries during our second project meeting in Aalborg in mid-March, and even had to limit the number of participants per company because of the huge demand,” explained Sabine Putz, Operating Agent of Task 55 and COO and Head of R&D at S.O.L.I.D.
Photo: AALBORG CSP
 

IEA SHC Task 54: Investigating Cost Factors Along the Value Chain

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 22, 2017
Task 54 RWTH AachenResearchers have worked intensively for one-and-a-half years across national borders to find ways of reducing the costs of solar thermal systems and making them more attractive to end users. The members of Task 54 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Price Reduction of Solar Thermal Systems, have discussed the effects of standardised product designs or changes in product offerings on cost structures. They have also analysed the entire value chain from component manufacture to system assembly and installation to help identify cost-cutting potential. This is the first time that methods of Process Cost Analysis are being adapted for the solar thermal business. “The share of overhead (e.g. marketing, sales, logistics, quality management and maintenance) has increased significantly, from 30 to 60 % of total product expenses over the last 50 years. This means we will have to investigate the relationship between technology, product portfolio and overhead,” explained Wolfgang Kramer, Head of the Solar Thermal Heating Systems Department at German-based Fraunhofer ISE. “To this end, the process cost analysis provides important quantitative information.” For example, the chart illustrates the issue of having a wider product portfolio and its impact on competitiveness and profitability. The model is currently being adapted for the solar industry in Task 54 as part of German research programme TEWIsol.
Chart: RWTH Aachen University
 

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