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Bulgaria: Third Phase of Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line Launched

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 20, 2016
Bulgaria multi-family blocksAlthough Bulgaria is a country with many green or mountainous areas, it has had to grapple with severe air pollution caused not only by old cars, but also by wood-fuelled heating systems, which are popular across the country. The European Environment Agency has recently rated the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, as the most polluted one in Europe. Last year, the conservative government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov stepped up to the plate and announced the National Programme for Energy Efficiency of Multi-Family Residential Buildings (NPEE). Its aim is to provide billions of euros for making several thousand residential buildings energy efficient until the end of 2018 – with no charges to flat owners. The photo shows three blocks of flats awaiting modernisation. 
Photo: Frank Stier
 

Israel: Winter Hail Storm Boosts Replacement Rate

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2016
ElsolLast year, the Israeli market saw a significant increase in newly installed glazed collector area, showing a total of 428,750 m² or a 9 % increase compared to the previous year. Eli Shilton, Managing Director of Israeli solar thermal system supplier Elsol, believes that a hail storm last winter was responsible for the greater demand for system replacement. “Since local collectors have standard glass covers, the hail storm broke a lot of the glass,” Shilton explained and added: “People are not worried about it, as the systems were covered by insurance and most owners will be reimbursed for all of the damage caused.” Thirty years of experience have made Eli Shilton a well-recognised expert in the Israeli solar thermal industry. The photos show centralised solar thermal systems on new multi-family buildings in Israel.
Photos: Elsol
 

France: Industry Does Not Yet Surrender

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 3, 2015
Workshop Nantes 2015The one-day workshop of the French solar sector to discuss the General State of Solar Heat in 2015 (États Généraux de la Chaleur Solaire 2015) took place in Nantes on 20 October with around 130 participants. The market is still decreasing, but the industry is closing its ranks to get out of the difficult situation. Multi-family housing and large-scale solar fields could give solar a second chance – that's at least what the French solar sector has been betting on. The workshop was organised by Enerplan, the Union of Professionals in Solar Energy, and supported by the French energy agency Ademe, as well as French gas supplier GrDF, a subsidiary of French utility Engie, formerly GDF Suez. 
Photo: Enerplan
 

Switzerland: Shift towards Multi-Family Housing Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 21, 2015
Market development SwitzerlandIn June, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy published its annual solar market report carried out by the solar energy association Swissolar (see the attached document in German and French). In 2014, sales of glazed collectors dropped by 7 %, down to 113,000 m² of absorber area. Vacuum tube collectors had a share of 13 %. The statistics also include 4,487 m² of unglazed collectors. The chart shows the shares of the different collector technologies over the years.
Source: Swissolar
 

Germany: Solar Heat Costs Less than Oil and Gas in Multi-Family Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 11, 2015
Solar thermal is economically viable in Germany in multi-family buildings – that is the clear message of the Excel-based tool which German solar thermal system supplier Remeha, a brand of the BDR Thermea Group, uses to calculate solar water heater performance at multi-family dwellings. The Excel tool was created for installers and planners to support their offers of solar hot water or space heating for blocks of flats. The tool calculates a kWh price, as well as the investment’s Internal Rate of Return. The solar heat produces the most cost-effective kWh with 43.3 EUR/MWh, assuming a 20-year lifetime. During this period, earnings are double as high as investment costs.
 

Austria: 1,500 m² ESCO Project for Vienna Residential Area

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 30, 2015
WaldmühleAustrian heat supplier Energiecomfort is expanding its solar heat services: The company based in Vienna, the capital of Austria, services around 5,000 m² of collector area for 50 different multi-family building projects across the Vienna area. Over the coming weeks, a 1,500 m² collector field for the newly built residential district Waldmühle Rodaun will go into operation, for which Energiecomfort will act as an Energy Service Company to provide the entire heat supply for the around 445 flats built on the grounds of a former cement factory on the outskirts of Vienna. The residents are planned to move in next year, but the solar heat will already be used for screed drying and heating during construction in the coming winter season.
Photo: Waldmühle Rodaun Betreuungsgesellschaft mbH
 

Spain: EUR 2 Million in Subsidies for Solar Heat Providers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 2, 2015
VillafrancaEighteen solar heat projects have profited from the national incentive scheme, Solcasa, in Spain since May 2010. The programme has been offering low-interest loans to Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), which install, operate and maintain solar thermal installations to sell their solar gains to customers, such as hotels or multi-family building owners. To date, the administrator of Solcasa, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, IDAE, has granted loans of EUR 2.09 million to 18 projects totalling 2.32 MWth. The photo shows the roof installation owned and operated by Spanish company Sumersol at the nursing home in Villafranca de los Caballeros, a town in eastern Spain. 
Photo: Sumersol
 

Jordan: “The solar bylaw is not going to have a strong impact on the market”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 6, 2015
Millennium Solar EnergySince April 2013, Jordan has had a solar bylaw in place. The rules of the bylaw were stipulated in Article 10 of Law No. 73, which had already entered into force in 2012. Solar water heaters are a mandatory requirement for every new multi-family building with more than 150 m² of living space, for every new office building exceeding 100 m² of floor space, as well as each new public building with more than 250 m². There are, however, no additional regulations regarding quality standards or system sizes. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Angelika Cerny, International Sales Coordinator at Jordan-based solar thermal turnkey-solution provider Millennium Energy Industries (MEI), about the effectiveness of the bylaw and the market development in Jordan. The photo shows an 80 m2 vacuum tube collector field which was set up in 2013 as a pergola for the office building of Jordan company EDGO Ventures in Amman. 
Photo: Millennium Solar Energy
 

USA: Solar Hot Water System on Newest High-Rise in San Diego Central

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 24, 2014
CeladonUS-American company Adroit Solar is currently installing a solar hot water system on the newest high-rise in the city centre of San Diego. The 17-storey building called Celadon is scheduled to be completed in early 2015. The solar installation has been subsidised by the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and was one of 285 projects which had applied for subsidies under the category Multi-Family Residential - Low Income over the last 12 months. The picture, which was taken from the onsite crane, shows the solar panels installed on the roof.
Photo: Adroit Solar
 

Slovenia: Grant and Loan Scheme in Its Sixth Year

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 30, 2014
Slovenia subsidy schemeAt the end of February, the Slovenian subsidy scheme restarted with a new call for applications. Eco Sklad, the Slovenian Environmental Public Fund, has been promoting renewable energies through non-repayable subsidies (grants) and low-interest (soft) loans since 2008. Each year, the scheme supports solar thermal systems, as well as wood boilers and efficiency measures in passive houses until its annual budget runs out. This budget was spent fairly quickly last year. “The budget of EUR 20 million had already been spent in August 2013 and no more applications were possible,” Anton Jančič, Director of Slovenian collector manufacturer Lentherminvest, says. “It is hard to cope with the interruption of 6 months, because demand drops to almost zero when there are no subsidies available.” The chart shows the collector area subsidised each year. In total, Eco Sklad supported the installation of 66,896 m² of collector area over the last six years. 
Source: Eco Fund
 

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