Poland: Solar for More Efficient District Heating Networks

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 30, 2017
Poland WorkshopPoland’s Mazovia Region is one of nine regional actors which have worked together with the Institute for Renewable Energy (IEO, formerly EC BREC), the Polish partner, on the Horizon 2020 project SDHp2m: Solar District Heating – From Policy to Market. On 16 March 2017, IEO organised a workshop where 60 stakeholders from the district heating industry and municipal authorities and researchers met to discuss the details of strategies and activities which could support the development of SDH or solar district heating. Solarthermalword.org sat down with IEO’s Aneta Więcka to talk about opportunities, barriers and the current situation of the SDH market in the Mazovia Region and the rest of country. 
Photo: Institute for Renewable Energy
 

Jordan: Four Demonstration Plants for Solar Air Conditioning Commissioned

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 29, 2017
Petra Guest House JordanJordan is showing rapidly increasing demand for air-conditioning. Total annual emissions from cooling commercial buildings add up to 600,000 tonnes of CO2, an amount equal to emissions from about 120,000 passenger vehicles per year. This has prompted the German Agency for International Cooperation to initiate the project Solar Cooling in Industry and Commerce in Jordan. The German Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) played a key role in this transfer of technology and know-how for the planning and installation as well as monitoring of four solar-driven air-conditioning systems in public and private buildings. The photo shows the 388 m² collector field which was commissioned at Petra Guest House in February 2015, around the same time as the one at German Jordanian University.
Photo: GIZ 

ISH Trade Fair: Not Much on Solar Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 27, 2017
ISH 2017 Eva AugstenWith more than 200,000 visitors from 61 countries and 2,482 exhibitors, this year´s ISH trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany, set a new record. The biannual exhibition showed the latest trends in building and heating technologies, including renewable energy applications. During the one-hour press conference of the German heating industry association BDH, the world “solar” was not even mentioned once. Faced with decreasing interest in solar thermal across central Europe, the portfolio of the few exhibitors specialising in the technology included electric heating in one way or another. The photo shows a collector to regenerate boreholes which are connected to heat pump. 
Photo: Eva Augsten
 

Miraah in Oman: “Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 25, 2017
GlasspointReplacing gas with sunshine for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is a cost-effective solution. This is the key message of US-based company Glasspoint, which has mobilised the biggest investment ever in a solar steam-producing unit in Oman. State-owned Petroleum Development Oman is building a concentrating solar thermal collector field called Miraah next to the Amal West oilfield. Once complete, it will generate more than a gigawatt of solar thermal power to drive EOR operations – saving Oman about 5.6 trillion BTUs of natural gas each year. 
Photo: Glasspoint
 

USA: Commercial Systems Dominate Californian Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 24, 2017
California Incentive ProgrammeThe California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program seems to have stabilised at around 20,000 m² (or around 200,000 ft²) of subsidised collector area per year. Commercial applications dominate the statistics, although there was a spike in the share of residential systems in 2016. The peak in applications for commercial pool heating in 2014 was due to the late addition of this type of system to the state subsidy scheme. It took almost a year before the level of incentives and other requirements were set, so that all the applications piling up over that period had to be processed in 2014. The data in the chart was provided by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and shows the subsidised and installed collector area for each year.
Source: CPUC
 

India: Proven SHIP Business Model with Third-Party Financing and Maintenance Contract

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 22, 2017
Harita SeatingThere has been growing demand for Aspiration Energy’s (AE) business of delivering systems that provide solar heat for industrial processes (SHIP). In January 2017, the turnkey SHIP supplier based in India completed a second solar field with 600 m² (180 kWth) of vacuum tube collectors for Harita Seating, which is one of the country’s leading manufacturers of automotive seating systems and part of the USD 7 billion TVS group. The first 600 m² system was commissioned in January 2015. Both fields combined meet around 50 % of the heat demand for degreasing and phosphating processes in Harita’s factory. The photo shows the solar thermal control panel in the production facility; the 3,000-litre solar thermal storage tank can be found on the right. 
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya
 

SOLTRAIN Lesotho: Small Country, Big Accomplishments

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 17, 2017
In July 2013, the small country of Lesotho in southern Africa joined the SOLTRAIN project. Between then and the end of phase II of SOLTRAIN – the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative – in February 2016, training courses were held, demonstration projects realised and awareness campaigns carried out. The Bethel Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), a commercial and technical school which is in a remote district of Lesotho and has 125 full-time students, has been the main partner organisation supporting these activities. Two solar water heaters at BBCDC, one thermosiphon and one pumped system, were installed during training courses (see photo). Obviously, this has raised awareness of the technology among all students learning and living at BBCDC, who use the solar-heated water every day. The efforts of the BBCDC won the school the Energy Globe Award Lesotho in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 
Photo: BBCDC
 

Belarus: 287 Completed Systems Prove Growing Interest in Solar Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 16, 2017
The use of solar heat is becoming increasingly popular in Belarus, an eastern European country with around 10 million population. Official statistics from the Ministry of Energy put the number of systems installed across the country at 287; their combined collector area, however, has not been recorded. This article presents a selection of the solar thermal systems partly in residential use, but some have also been integrated into the facade of commercial buildings (left photo) as well as educational and healthcare facilities (right). Their collector size ranges from 4 to 100 m2.
Photos: All photos in this news article were provided by the owners of the solar thermal systems
 

Spain: Market Shrinks Again in 2016, Outlook Slightly Better for 2017

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 13, 2017
Spain’s solar thermal market experienced a year-on-year drop of 12 % in 2016 and ended up at 212,190 m2 (149 MWth) of newly installed collector area. As in 2015, the main reasons for the contraction were the lack of finished newbuilds and the end of regional incentives, such as the ones in the Spanish region of Andalusia. However, the construction industry is slowly starting to recover and new government incentives may boost the market this year. Additionally, local manufacturers have expanded their export business. All in all, the country’s solar thermal industry generated a turnover of EUR 170 million in 2016 and employed 4,250 people. These and other results can be found in the annual report published by the Spanish solar thermal association ASIT last week (see the attached PDF).
Chart: ASIT 
 

Webinar: Advanced Lighting Solutions for Retrofitting Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 7, 2017
SHC Solar AcademyLED technology has greatly changed the face of the lighting market: In just a few years, lighting systems have become twice as efficient and half as expensive. Planners are challenged to keep track of the fast technological developments occurring as they work with clients to find the most cost-effective solutions. In this webinar on Advanced Lighting Solutions for Retrofitting Buildings researchers of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (IEA SHC) Programme will talk about the potential in lighting retrofit, introduce advanced solutions, and present an interactive electronic source book and toolbox called The lighting Retrofit Adviser. All stakeholders are invited to join the webinar scheduled online for 1.5 hours on Tuesday, 21 March 2017, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Central European Time (time zone includes Berlin, Brussels, and Copenhagen). You can register online.
 

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