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Austria Solar

Austria Solar: ”It’s about faster and simpler access to solar systems”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 14, 2016
Roger HackstockIn September 2016, Roger Hackstock returned as Managing Director of Austria Solar after having already occupied this position between 2002 and 2013. In the three years that he was not at the helm of the Austrian industry association, Hackstock published a book on the “Energiewende” (energy transition), worked as programme manager for the country’s Climate and Energy Fund and coordinated the Storage initiative as an independent consultant. During our interview, he spoke about the challenges solar heat has had to face over the years, as market demand for system solutions is steadily on the rise, and noted that he was happy to support the industry in this new era.
 

Denmark/Sweden: Arcon-Sunmark Collector Retesting Prompts Discussion on Solar Keymark Network Rules

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 16, 2016
This July, SP issued new Solar Keymark certificates for four Danish Arcon-Sunmark collectors after the Swedish test lab and certification body had retested these four systems in April. The retesting had been necessary, as SP had received six complaints because of a lower-than-expected c1 (heat loss coefficient) value on certificates issued in November 2015. At first, it looked like a case closed, but the stakeholders who submitted complaints are now calling for a reform of the complaint procedures and tolerances established by the Solar Keymark Network (SKN). 
 

Big Ups and Downs on Global Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 26, 2016
The global solar thermal market went into another year of notable decline in 2015. With 37.2 GWth, the newly installed glazed and unglazed collector capacity in the 18 largest countries was 14 % lower than in 2014 (43.4 GWth). Between 2013 and 2014, the decrease in these 18 major countries – which represent 95-97 % of the world market – had been 15 %. The further slowdown last year was the result of diminishing collector area figures in China (-17 %), and in Europe (nine biggest nations down by -5 %). The countries with the highest growth rates last year were Denmark (+55 %), Turkey (+10 %), Israel (+9 %) and Mexico (+8 %). The chart shows both 2015’s newly installed collector area, broken down by collector type – flat plate, vacuum tube and unglazed collector area, and the 2014-2015 growth rate (excluding China, whose 2015 market volume was 21-times larger than Turkey, which ranked second). China added 30.5 GWth in 2015 of which 12.6 % were flat plate collectors (5.5 million m2). 
Figures: solrico, data: see bottom of the article

Europe: Solar Keymark Network to Improve Complaint Procedures

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 31, 2016
The Solar Keymark Network has decided to establish a working group in order to revise and improve the complaint procedures and put them into one document, as they have so far been described in several different papers and various articles: The Solar Keymark Scheme Rules, Article 2.2, includes instructions on how to handle complaints and there is Article 6.3. Special Test, whereas the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations Part 4, Article 7.4, describes the appeal procedures (see the attached documents). This move is deemed necessary because at the end of 2015 – for the first time since the Solar Keymark label was launched – several complaints were submitted to one of the empowered certification bodies. “In our network meeting, we informed the members about the first big complaint and discussed the need for putting the complaint procedures into one document, to make it clearer for the solar thermal industry how to use them,” said Jaime Fernández González-Granda, Chairman of the Solar Keymark Network and Product Officer at the Spanish certification and standardisation body, AENOR. 
 

Austria: Low Oil Price and Lack of Political Support Weakens Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 15, 2016
Heating with oilAccording to the ISOL Index by solrico and market data from the industry association Austria Solar, the solar thermal industry is heading into another year of declining markets. Low oil prices and corresponding campaigns of the fossil heating industry have had a substantial impact on this renewable technology. The banner shows the slogan “Heizen mit Öl – das zahlt sich aus” (The Benefits of Using Oil to Heat Your Home) on the website of the Austrian mineral oil industry, which offers grants of EUR 2,500 for the installation of a condensing oil boiler in a single-family building. Austria Solar has also criticised the reduction in the renewable budget of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund as well as the complicated incentive scheme rules throughout the states. The large-scale project market is what keeps the industry alive. 

Austria: Hope for Market Decline Slowdown

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 9, 2015
Austria market developmentThe market report Innovative Energy Technologies in Austria. Market Development 2014 published by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) shows that in 2014, the national solar thermal industry had to deal with declining sales for the fifth time in a row. The solar thermal market in Austria dropped by 15 % from 2013 to 2014, resulting in a total annual volume of 108.6 MWth (155,170 m²) last year. The pie chart shows the share of different segments in the collector area newly installed in 2014 [2013]. Multi-family buildings have significantly increased in importance. According to recent data by the industry association Austria Solar on the first two quarters of 2015, the decline seems to be slowing down, partly because of a new federal incentive programme. 
Source: Market development report 2014
 

Austria: Solar Thermal to Breathe New Life into Vienna’s Urban Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 4, 2014
Congress Energy and ArchitectureBy 2050, Austria’s capital Vienna wants to cover half of its heat demand by solar thermal energy, it says in the Seven Energy Assumptions (Sieben Energiethesen) presentation, which was held by Bernd Vogl at the beginning of October. The photo shows the panel discussion during which Vogl, who is Head of the city’s Department for Energy Planning, MA 20, presented his assumptions (see the attached presentation in German) at a side event at the evening before the Fachkongress Energie-Architektur 2014 took place in Vienna.
Photo: Christian Fürthner, MA 20
 

Austria: Fully Solar-Heated Commercial Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 31, 2014
HabauThe entirely solar-heated production hall of Austrian company Habau Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft has been Harald Kuster’s largest project to date. Since June this year, 1,410 m² of collector area manufactured by Austrian company Gasokol supply process heat in summer and heating in winter and ensure that sunlight alone heats the newly built 7,700 m² halls (see photo). Kuster is Managing Director of Austrian planning company FIN – Future is Now Kuster Energielösungen and an expert in designing and building solar heating systems which make effective use of a building’s thermal mass. He calls his solution VollSolar Häuser (translated as FullySolar Buildings). Kuster has planned 25 construction projects over the last 7 years, most of them commercial buildings. None of these commercial and residential structures required any conventional heating system.
Photo: Habau Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft
 

Austria: “Heat networks must enable decentralised feed-in options”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 2, 2014
Roger Hackstock“Renewables have turned the world of electricity upside down,” the former Managing Director of Austria Solar, Roger Hackstock, writes in his book Energiewende - Die Revolution hat schon begonnen (roughly translated as Energy Transformation – The Revolution Has Already Begun) published at the beginning of this year. Hackstock’s words refer to the grid’s high share of renewable electricity supply, which has caused electricity prices to tumble on the European Energy Exchange (EEX). Solarthermalworld.org spoke with the book author about what impact the price turbulence at the exchange has had on the heating market.
 

Austria: Another EUR 5 Million for Large-Scale Solar Plants Subsidy Scheme in 2014

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 26, 2014
Berger FleischwarenThe Austrian Climate and Energy Fund has again allocated a budget of EUR 5 million to the Large-Scale Solar Thermal Plants Subsidy Scheme in 2014. Applications can be filed until 25 September 2014 (see the attached call for proposals in German). Based on last year's average incentives per m2, the amount will be enough to subsidise 15,000 m² of new collector area. Dr Stephan Pernkopf, member of Lower Austria’s state government, and the solar energy association Austria Solar met at the solar thermal process heat plant of Fleischwaren Berger in Sieghartskirchen to discuss how to push the market segment. The photo shows (from left) Doris Hammermüller, Managing Director of Austria Solar, Gerhard Franz Roth, Managing Director of AEE Working Group Renewable Energy Lower Austria – Vienna, Dr Stephan Pernkopf and Rudolf Berger, Managing Director of Fleischwaren Berger.
Photo: NLK J.Burchhart
 

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