SHC / SWC 2017: Twelve Experts Highlight Success Stories on Tape

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2017
videosFrom 30 October to 2 November 2017, the SHC 2017 and the SWC 2017 in Abu Dhabi brought together 500 researchers, industry specialists and other experts on solar heating and cooling. The 12 video interviews that solarthermalworld.org recorded at the joint conference outlined trends in today's global solar heating and cooling sector and highlighted policy fields where urgent action is required. The videos were financed by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and the European Copper Association. See the complete playlist.
 

Australia: Think Big, Think Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 1, 2017
GreenlandIn Australia, the deployment of large commercial solar thermal plants is picking up speed. This year, Monash University had a solar field of 0.5 MW put into operation and aims to expand it to 1 MW. The solar heat that is fed into the district heating system of the large campus area in Clayton, a suburb of Melbourne, is said to meet the entire heat demand in summer. The field consists of vacuum tube collectors by Australian manufacturer Greenland Systems (see photo) and was designed and installed by the LCI engineering consultancy from Melbourne. Currently, Danish Aalborg CSP is in dialogue with Perth-based Agrimin about the supply of solar process heat to a planned sulphate of potash (SOP) mine and processing factory in the state of Western Australia.
Photo: Greenland
 

UK: How Does Solar Thermal Sustain against Photovoltaics and Biomass?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 30, 2017
KingspanAt the end of 2016 the solar thermal industry association STA campaigned successfully for solar thermal to remain in the two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI). However, the year 2017 was so far weaker than the previous years. In the domestic RHI there were 423 residential applications accredited from January to September 2017, compared to 537 in the same period of the previous year. Approved applications for commercial solar thermal plants with in the non-domestic RHI were down to 19 in this same period from 36 in the previous year.  The photo shows a 155 m² installation on the roof of the new Star Community Centre in Cardiff that opened its doors in September 2016. 
Photo: Kingspan
 

Spain: Marketing Activities Foster SHIP Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 29, 2017
SHIP plantsThe Spanish market for Industrial Solar Heat (SHIP) is still small: Currently, there are only three installations ongoing across the country (see screen shot). Now, the Spanish Solar Concentra platform intends to support market development by identifying 130 potential industrial SHIP clients with no access to the piped natural gas grid, but sufficient space for a solar thermal installation in the south of Spain. Diego Crespo, Project Engineer at the Protermosolar association, the coordinator of Solar Concentra, presented this approach during a webinar on 16 November. The organiser of the webinar, Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights, has uploaded a recording and his presentation to its website.
 

India: “Gained the trust of our customers”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 27, 2017
Bhoovarhan ThirumalaBecause of a strong order pipeline, the future is looking bright for one Indian solar thermal turnkey supplier: Bhoovarahan Thirumalai, CEO of Aspiration Energy, expects to realise solar heat for industrial processes (SHIP) projects at a total capacity of 20 MW in the next one-and-a-half years – all of them as a solar heat supplier. This would be a significant increase compared to the 2.5 MW of solar thermal capacity that the company set up over the course of 20 installations in the last 7 years. One key success factor is the business model of Aspiration Energy. As an Energy Service Company, it owns and operates the SHIP plant and the industrial client pays based on what it saves.
Photo: Aspiration Energy
 

IEA SHC Task 54: Solar Thermal Cost Reductions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 26, 2017
Linz workshop Task 54The objective of IEA SHC Task 54 is to reduce the purchase price of solar thermal systems by up to 40 % across the entire value chain. To achieve this, the project partners have been evaluating technical and non-technical cost-saving potential, with low-cost materials, such as polymers, and production technologies bound to play an important role. At an early October workshop in Linz, Austria, about 50 project partners and guests discussed cost reductions made possible by new distribution channels, digital solutions and systems thinking approaches. 
Photo: Fraunhofer ISE
 

Solar Is UK's Best District Heating Option

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 24, 2017
The UK government has clear and ambitious plans to raise the share of district heating (DH) in total heat consumption. GBP (Pound Sterling) 320 million is said to be made available for increasing the number of households connected to DH from 220,000 to 8 million by 2030, or to 30 % of today’s 27 million households in the country. These impressive figures are part of a report called Winning Hearts and Minds – Scenario-Driven Stakeholder Analysis on How to Make District Heating Successful in the UK, a combination of scenarios and online surveys developed jointly by German-based Communication Works and the Stockholm School of Economics on behalf of the UK’s Association for Decentralised Energy. The aim is to find suitable avenues for popularising DH among heat users in the country.
 

IEA Paper: How to Decarbonise the Industrial Sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 22, 2017
Cédric PhilibertThe industrial sector is the hardest to decarbonise. “Stakeholders are in fierce competition, so to adapt any source that is even slightly more expensive than the fossil fuels they are used to is difficult,” Cédric Philibert, Senior Analyst in the IEA Renewable Energy Division, said during the panel discussion The Road to 100% Renewable Energy at the joint SHC and SWC 2017 conference in Abu Dhabi in early November. He presented key findings from his most recent Insight Paper, Renewable Energy for Industry, which takes a closer look at cement manufacturing, iron- and steelmaking and chemical production (see the attached document). 
Photo: Masdar Institute at Khalifa University of Science and Technology
 

EU Funding for Solutions to Decarbonise Heating and Cooling Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2017
Horizon 2020A search for ‘solar thermal’ in a recently published 195-page document titled Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy will not return encouraging results (see the attached document). The publication by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shows only 6 entries in total. “Solar thermal is definitely not a priority of the new programme,” said Daniel Mugnier, Head of R&D at French engineering services company Tecsol. “And even if the European Solar Thermal Technology & Innovation Platform were to try to promote several hot topics, there’s only one call [LC-SC3-RES-7-2019 on solar process heat] dedicated to the technology.”
 

Switzerland: Current CO2 Tax Does Little to Help Solar Thermal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 16, 2017
Oil price chartThe solar thermal market in Switzerland has been shrinking for the past years because of increasing competition from photovoltaics and heat pumps. Additionally, the low oil price has led to a wait-and-see attitude among potential customers. The market continues to show no signs of an upturn despite the introduction of a CO2 tax on fossil fuels around 10 years ago. This tax, however, has done little to compensate for the one-third reduction in oil prices in 2015 and 2016. A more suitable alternative would be a levy linked to oil and gas prices.
Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office
 

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