French SOCOL network analyses market drivers and barriers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 10, 2018
EnerplanThe SOCOL network has become more involved than ever in shaping the future of the French solar thermal sector, having grown quickly from just 155 experts in 2013 to 2,500 today. Great efforts are being made to improve the image of solar thermal as a cost-effective, reliable technology for commercial applications. Despite the favourable environment, the French market has experienced a notable decline over recent years. Preliminary data from 2017 shows the newly installed collector to have been as little as 50,000 m², a decrease of 15 % compared to the year prior. Only multi-family properties and large-scale systems seem to be bucking the trend. 
Source: Uniclima
 

Solar heat in Vietnam, the new workshop of the world

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 4, 2018
PrimeAsia Leather CompanyA 5,000 m² flat plate collector field is currently being built at PrimeAsia Leather in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam. The turnkey supplier of the installation is Danish-based Arcon-Sunmark, which has its own flat plate collector production facilities in this South East Asian country. According to a press release published at the beginning of last November, the solar plant is scheduled to come online in early 2018. The solar heat is said to be used for preparing the animal skins and evaporating the factory’s waste water.
Photo: PrimeAsia Leather Company
 

Solar thermal goes digital

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 3, 2018
WorkshopOn 14 December 2017, members of industry associations Austria Solar and BSW-Solar met founders of start-ups to draw up digital strategies for solar thermal. One of the key findings from the one-day workshop in Vienna, Austria, was that “traditional solar thermal companies cannot take on this task alone. They will have to partner with start-ups to explore and utilise the potential that digitalisation has for their business,” Roger Hackstock, Managing Director of Austria Solar, said.
Photo: Austria Solar
 

Renewable heat projects along Danube River

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 28, 2017
Danube RiverDanubeHeat helps small and medium enterprises, research and educational institutions, and public agencies draft EU funding applications. Financially supported by the German education ministry and coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE based in Freiburg, Germany, it consists of a network of thirteen SMEs, research and educational organisations, and municipal administrations. They are from various countries along the Danube River, such as Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldavia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. 
Photo: iStock/_ultraforma_
 

Delay in launch of Croatia’s residential support scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 27, 2017
CroatiaCroatia, a western Balkan country, is one of the most sun-rich nations in the EU, but progress on the solar thermal front has been unsatisfactory in the eyes of Professor Ljubomir Majdandžić, Acting Director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (EPEEF). “Our energy development strategy envisions the installation of 0.25 m² of solar collector area per capita until 2020. But it has become clear that this target will not be met,” he said. 
 

French PVT market is picking up

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 22, 2017
DualsunThe IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will create its own international research platform on PVT systems in January 2018. Researchers and industry representatives from 13 countries so far will then start evaluating new PVT systems for HVAC solutions. This IEA SHC task, which is planned to run until the end of 2020, is being announced at a time when the PVT market in several European countries, such as France and Switzerland, is picking up speed. Experts with an R&D or manufacturing background are welcome to join the platform (see the contact details at the end of this news article). 
Photo: Dualsun
 

Project partners guarantee SDH yield

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 21, 2017
ADEME15 December saw the inauguration of the first installation supported by the subsidy scheme for large-scale solar thermal projects in France. The 2,340 m² collector field by German manufacturer KBB Kollektorbau has since been feeding into a biomass district heating network of Châteaubriant, a town in western France. Altogether, the subsidy scheme’s administrator, French energy agency Ademe, approved six solar thermal projects during the first tender invitation called Appel à Projets National Grandes Installations Solaires Thermiques. The second one in November 2017 led to the submission and approval of a 14,000 m² solar process heat project, which is currently in planning. The programme inviting large-scale solar thermal tenders started in 2015 (see the database of incentive programmes for more information). There are two new submission deadlines planned for March and November 2018.
Photo: Ademe
 

Tempered 2-millimetre glass from India

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 20, 2017
BorosilGujarat Borosil has begun producing its first 2-millimetre tempered glass parts after 18 months of research. The Indian business had received a personal congratulatory letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Managing Director Shreevar Kheruka. It had invested Indian Rupee (INR) 2 billion (around EUR 26.67 million) in the facility. The technology targets the booming solar PV industry, but will likewise be offered to solar collector manufacturers. 
Photo: Jaideep N. Malaviya
 

Kyrgyzstan’s capital sees 0.5 MW SDH plant being built

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 19, 2017
Bishkek City HallIn September, the then deputy PM of Kyrgyzstan, Duishenbek Zilaliev, attended the inauguration of a 0.5 MW solar district heating plant in the capital Bishkek. The press release on the event – published by the media and communications department of Bishkek’s city hall on 22 September – also mentioned the operator of the solar field, the Bishkekteploenergo municipal utility, the largest thermal energy provider in the city. The national Environmental Protection Fund supported the project financially by offering a grant of Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS) 10.6 million – 72 % of the total investment costs of KGS 14.8 million (around USD 212,000). 
Photo: Bishkek City Hall
 

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