Latvia: Newly founded Association Calls for EU-based Standards

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 26, 2015
TaupiRepresentatives of eight leading solar thermal system suppliers and manufacturers in Latvia, as well as two associations met in December 2014 to establish the Latvian Association for Solar Collectors (Latvijas Saules Kolektoru Asociācija). “Our association has been registered with the proper authorities, and we have membership requests from four to five other companies,” Raivis Šķērstens, Chairman of the newly established association, confirmed in March 2015. Šķērstens heads Latvian solar thermal manufacturer Sun Investments, which offers solar systems under the brand name Selsol. The other founding members from the industry are solar thermal system importers Taupi, Altenergo, Solar M Pro, Erxsol, EG inzenieri, Zeze and Saules kolektors. The photo shows the 72 collectors on the roof of Vidzeme’s nursery school, which includes a swimming pool.
Photo: Taupi

India 2015: Government Doubles Coal Tax, Removes Solar Tube Customs Duty

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 25, 2015
Anu SolarThe international press praised the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, when he unveiled this year’s Financial Bill, including the 2015/2016 budget, on 28 February. For example, the BBC wrote: “A business-friendly budget aimed at attracting greater investment for the economy.” It has been the first full-year financial budget since the National Democratic Alliance came to power in May 2014. took a look at some of the regulations relevant to solar thermal and found in Jaitley's budget for financial year 2015/2016, which starts on 1 April 2015. The photo shows the flat plate collector production unit at Anu Solar.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

Canada: Solar Vision 2025: Beyond Market Competitiveness (2010)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 25, 2015

This report issued by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) gives an overview of the evolution of the solar energy market in Canada until 2025.  The report covers both the solar photovoltaic and the solar thermal sectors.

Solar energy has numerous advantages. It will be economically competitive, will create employment and production costs will be reduced.

For the solar thermal sector, CanSIA believes that by 2025 the solar thermal industry can reach a capacity between 8 GWth and 15 GWth and has identified 3 different scenarios. 

Study on a Solar Heating System using Low Temperature Radiators (2013)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 25, 2015

The University of Constantine, in Algeria, conducted a study on a solar heating systems using low temperature radiators, which  was presented at the 16th International Thermal Days conference taking place in Marrakech in November 2013.

The objective of the study was to do a simulation of a solar heating system using solar collectors connected to oversized central heating radiators in order to function at low temperature. In addition to collectors and radiators, they have also used a water storage tank and an additional energy source.

Germany: National Subsidy Scheme Gets Significant Amendment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 24, 2015
MAPOn 1 April 2015, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi, will increase the subsidies for renewable heating systems – solar thermal, biomass boilers and heat pumps – within the German Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies, MAP. The main reason for taking this step was that political targets have not been achieved: “The share of renewable energies in Germany’s final energy consumption for heating and cooling has only increased at a slow pace since 2012 and currently stands at 9.9 %. The MAP amendment is needed to achieve the ambitious 2020 target of 14 % set forth in the Renewable Energy Heat Act,” the BMWi stated in a press release on 11 March, in which the ministry also announced the new incentive regulations. 
Photo: Fotolia

Germany: Viessmann Offers Turnkey Solutions for Bioenergy Villages

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 22, 2015
VitosolThe German Viessmann Group, one of the leading manufacturers of heating and cooling technology, offers bioenergy village cooperatives their own turnkey systems for renewable district heating. These communities are required to cover 100 % of their electricity demand and at least 50 % of their heating demand by renewable sources. On average, bioenergy villages have between 1,200 and 1,500 inhabitants, who establish a cooperative owning and operating the renewable district heating network, as well as the heat and power generators. According to a study by the German Klaus Novy Institute, the trend towards sustainable energy supply independent of fossil fuels has led to around 800 of these co-ops being set up in Germany over the past few years. All in all, they have invested over EUR 1.5 billion, and more than 100 of them chose to install renewable district heating systems. The photo shows the special vacuum tube collectors suited for large fields. These collectors are of simple design and have a wide DN50 steel header pipe incorporated into the manifolds. 
Photo: Viessmann

Applying UNEP’s Solar Water Heating TechScope Market Readiness Assessment in Mauritius and Seychelles

Submitted by Amr Hai on March 20, 2015

Islands face particular energy challenges. Costly imports of fossil fuels, for one, can burden island budgets and inhibit investment in socio-economic development. SWH systems are highly cost effective in an island setting with high electricity prices. Further attempts to increase SWH uptake in islands will need to address the lack of information on system options and how to install them, upfront financing cost, and difficulty in obtaining loans.

Spain: Regional Incentive Schemes Help Market Grow

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 19, 2015
Spain market developmentAfter an uninterrupted four-year slump (and a stagnating market in 2013), the latest figures from the Spanish solar thermal association, ASIT, show that the market is alive again: A total collector area of 255,000 m² (179 MWth) was installed in 2014 – helping it grow by around 10 %. The market owed much of its increase to the Andalusian incentive programme, which has recently been extended to June 2015. Still, ASIT’s market survey published in February reported a decreasing manufacturing and export segment. The association confirmed that the participants of the survey covered 92 % of the market; only 8 % had to be estimated (you can find a list of the participating companies in the attached PDF). The Spanish solar thermal industry generated a turnover of EUR 204 million in 2014 and had around 5,100 direct full-time employees.
Source: ASIT

ISH 2015: Letter A with or without + Dominates International Heating Fair

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 13, 2015

From 10 to 14 March, energy labels dominated Hall 8 at the ISH 2015 in Frankfurt. “Obviously, we have a competitive advantage with the label,” Uwe Glock, Head of the Management Board of Bosch Thermotechnik, pointed out during the fair’s press conference. Product and package labels could be found at the booths of all boiler manufacturers, which dominated Hall 8 during the international trade fair for The Bathroom Experience, Building, Energy, Air Conditioning Technology and Renewable Energies. The A with or without plus signs was the star of the show, heavily discussed in many B-to-B meetings. The 26th of September 2015, the date when the regulation will come into effect, is keeping the entire heating provider industry busy, regardless of whether a company may be specialised in boilers, heat pumps or renewable heating equipment.
Photo: Bärbel Epp

Experiences with the Renewable Heat Law (EWärmeG) Baden-Württemberg (2015)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on March 6, 2015

This presentation, prepared by Dr. Volker Kienzlen of Climate and Energy Agency of Baden-Wurttenberg (KEA), was presented at the EU Conference "Heating and Cooling in teh European Energy Transition", held in Brussels on 26-27 February 2015.