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de-risking

Big Solar Germany: Utility-scale solar heat at record-low 36 EUR/MWh

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 3, 2018
Christian HolterOperators of several gas-driven combined cycle power plants, or CCPPs, have notified the German Federal Network Agency of their systems’ final shutdown. These plants are no longer economically viable, as they have been running ever fewer hours because of a high proportion of cost-effective renewable grid electricity. Their shutdown will create a shortage of supply in district heating networks providing thermal energy to German municipalities. Utility-scale solar thermal plants equipped with seasonal storage could help close the gap at heat prices of around 36 EUR/MWh, Christian Holter said. Holter is the Managing Director of Austrian turnkey system supplier S.O.L.I.D., which has carried out feasibility studies on behalf of several European cities.

Molten salt storage 33 times cheaper than lithium-ion batteries

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 12, 2018
Cost-effective energy storage is key to transitioning to a low-carbon society. Energy can be stored in the form of heat or electricity. A popular storage method for high-temperature thermal applications is a molten salt tank. Fact sheets created by the German Energy Storage Association, or BVES for short, show that molten salt tanks are around 33 times less expensive than electric batteries when it comes to storing a kilowatt-hour in them. 
Image: Frenell
 

Switzerland: Plans for Solar District Heating Pilot System

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 10, 2017
“Why is there no solar district heating in Switzerland?” Swiss scientists were asking after their visit to Denmark. They had been investigating the feasibility of solar heat in district heating networks in the St Gallen canton and published a 50-page study this March (see the attached document in German). As it turns out, solar heat could be produced in several networks for 60 to 160 CHF/MWh (50 to 140 EUR/MWh). Assuming plant owners or operators could get an incentive similar to the one for small-scale solar heat systems, it would make several larger ones economically viable. Now, the Swiss-based SPF – Institute of Solar Technology has begun to work with a district heating company on giving the country its first pilot plant.
 

MENA/Chile: Concentrating Solar Benchmark Costs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2017
SunShotA tender for 94.5 USD/MWhel in Dubai and an R&D initiative called SunShot in the United States have shown how the cost of concentrated solar power (CSP) could be lowered at a steady pace thanks to economies of scale and optimised manufacturing and operation. Though the solar power market has been the driver for most of these developments, their outcomes are likewise relevant to solar thermal, where concentrating technologies have been used to provide heating or cooling for industrial processes. Two recent webinars organised by Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights and focused on CSP in the MENA region and Chile had developers and researchers discuss the main drivers for cost cutting and the technology outlook in the short and medium term. The chart illustrates the SunShot aim to bring down the cost of parabolic trough collectors from around 200 USD/m² to 75 USD/m².
Source: Department of Energy, USA
 

French Independent Heat Supplier: “Optimise and de-risk all contracts”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 17, 2017
French-based NewHeat is a rapidly growing start-up. About two years after it was founded in December 2015, management has raised almost EUR 1.8 million from private investors to finance the first solar heat delivery projects and strengthen its global sales force. NewHeat, headquartered in Bordeaux, France, calls itself an independent integrated solar heat producer aiming at end customers in district heating and industry. The company is also an industry member of Task 55 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme, Towards the Integration of Large SHC Systems into DHC Networks. CEO Hugues Defréville (left photo) and CTO Pierre Delmas not only established the start-up two years ago, but have knowledge and skills that complement each other to advance the business.
Photos: NewHeat

Austria: How to De-Risk Renewable Investments in Industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 9, 2017
Results World Map SurveyTwo-thirds of the 71 companies listed on the World Map of Solar Process Heat Specialists 2017 agreed that achieving bankability for solar process heat projects required huge efforts to be made. They said that key barriers to implementation were a lack of technical expertise in risk assessment at financial institutions and the relatively small investment amounts in individual projects. To rectify this situation, EU project TrustEE is aiming to combine several of industry’s energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE+RE) investment projects into one package to be offered to pension funds and assurance companies. Important financial terms can be found in the glossary at the bottom of this article.
Source: solrico
 

De-risking Solar Thermal Investments

Submitted by Nigel Cotton on February 2, 2017

 

Hard Financial Facts about solar thermal

An open source database to support investment in solar thermal technologies through improved transparency on costs and heat prices in buildings and industry.

 


 

China: Himin’s Largest Solar Process Heat Installation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 10, 2016
Himin Process HeatLast year, Chinese vacuum tube manufacturer Huang Ming internationally known as Himin Solar installed its largest system for solar process heat to date. The company said that it had set up a 9,903 m² installation in Shandong province in October 2015, a system which had since produced heat for a textile factory owned by the Ruyi Group. The RMB 12.46 million (EUR 1.66 million) project had been entirely financed by the customer, which had not received any public subsidies. Ruyi had had the plant built because of a lack of electricity. “The local government had restricted electricity supply to Ruyi, which meant that the business could no longer fulfil its annual output targets,” stated a press release by Himin.
Photo: Himin
 

South Africa: Solar Green Beer Production Creates High IRR

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 14, 2016
CBC Installation South AfricaSouth Africa’s solar process heat installations remain profitable when they have to compete against other heat sources, such as diesel, paraffin, petrol or gas, the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, has concluded in a recently published paper. The researchers at the CRSES conducted a feasibility study of a 120.7 m² collector field that was to cover 60 % of the existing hot water requirements of Cape Brewing Company (CBC) based in Suider-Paarl, Western Cape, and analysed ten proposals submitted after the company’s invitation to tender in January 2015. South African E3 Energy won by offering an installation with a levelised cost of energy of 7.9 EUR cents/kWh, an internal rate of return of 16.7 % and a payback period of 9.3 years. CBC´s daily hot water demand is estimated to be 7,000 litres at 85 °C during 245 days a year, i.e., during a full year except for weekends, public holidays and two weeks of summer holidays. The system went into operation in November 2015 and the COO of CBC, Andy Kung, seems satisfied with the performance and the energy saving it offers. 
Still image taken from the short film
 

India: Process Heat System Monitoring Shows Fair Performance but Room for Improvement

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 12, 2016
Himachal Pradesh Dairy Case StudyThe SoPro India project has scientifically monitored two solar water heating systems for a year with the aim of presenting reliable data on system performance (see the attached PDFs). The measured 20 % solar efficiency would put the ROI between 2 and 3 years, depending on the development of fossil fuel costs. The researchers from German institute Fraunhofer ISE see new systems offering “good opportunities for further technical improvement.” SoPro was implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
 

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