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Europe: 10 Years of Solar Keymark – 1,600 Collector and 220 System Certificates

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 27, 2014
Solar Keymark statisticAt the beginning of June, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation celebrated the 10th anniversary of Solar Keymark at its Intersolar Europe booth in Munich, Germany. Solar Keymark is a well-established certification scheme and label all across Europe and has been viewed as an exemplary model by countries and regions outside Europe as well. Today, there are around 1,600 different certified collectors and about 220 solar thermal systems, all listed in an online database. The chart shows the countries with the highest number of certificates for locally produced or locally offered collectors. China ranks third with 162 Solar Keymark collectors, after Germany (425) and Austria (211). 16 % of the collectors come from outside the 28 EU countries and Switzerland. 
Figure: Solar Keymark 
 

Romania: Former and Present Environmental Minister Brings Back Green House Programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2014
KorodiIt looks like the Romanian solar thermal sector is benefitting from the frequent changes at the head of the country’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, MMSC. During a press conference on 20 May 2014, Attila Korodi, Minister for the Environment since the beginning of March 2014, announced the reactivation of the Green House Programme, Casa Verde, which was halted in 2011. As the former head of the same ministry, Korodi was responsible for the implementation of Casa Verde at the end of 2008. It took some time, however, until the programme could finally start in June 2011. During the press conference, Korodi said that he wanted to review the pending applications from 2011 and planned to subsidise 13,000 systems in 2014. 
Photo: MMSC
 

Europe: Energy Security Strategy to Improve Relevance of Renewable Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2014
ESTIFThe European Commission has now published its Communication on Energy Security, which proposes a set of immediate actions to address the current crisis, but mostly concentrates on other measures to be implemented in the longer term. The proposed actions include "an accelerated fuel switch in the heating sector to renewable heating technologies". In a press release from 30 May 2014, ESTIF, AEBIOM, EGEC, the industry associations representing the solar thermal, biomass and geothermal sector, respectively, welcomed the priority given to renewable heating in the Commission’s Communication on Energy Security strategy.
Photo: ESTIF
 

European Solar Days: Raising Awareness in Eastern European Countries

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 1, 2014
The European Solar Days, Europe’s largest solar energy grassroots movement, is growing fast throughout Europe, with events expected to attract more than 700,000 participants. The Europe-wide campaign is promoting the use of solar energy for the production of electricity, heating and cooling. Between Thursday, 1 May, and Sunday, 18 May, solar energy supporters – from citizens to industry stakeholders and from lobbyists to politicians – will come together for celebrations, educational activities, demonstrations and other events.
 

Europe: Pedro Dias Appointed New ESTIF Secretary General

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 9, 2014
Pedro DiasESTIF’s Board of Directors has appointed Pedro Dias to serve as new Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation. The former deputy general follows in the footsteps of Xavier Noyon, who left ESTIF at the end of March. Accordingly, the association has reduced its staff from four to three permanent employees – a result of the persistent sales crisis in the European solar thermal industry and the decrease in the number of ESTIF members. However, the association will soon engage two interns to complement the workforce.
Photo: ESTIF
 

Belgium: European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) is History

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 19, 2014
An Extraordinary General Assembly of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) taking place in Brussels on 6 March decided the “voluntary” dissolution of the non-profit organisation after more than a decade in existence. According to a press release, the dissolution was due to high liabilities arising from lease obligations for the three large office buildings which make up the Renewable Energy House (REH) at 63-67 Rue d’Arlon in Brussels. Since the inauguration of the REH in 2006, EREC had been the main tenant of all three buildings and would have been until 2032. 
 

Poland: Stagnating Market after Strong Two-Year Growth

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2013

After record-high growth in 2011 and 2012, the Polish solar thermal market will most probably only keep the market volume of last year - or even show a small reduction in 2013. This is the prediction that the Polish Institute for Renewable Energy, IEO, reported to the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) for its annual General Assembly at the end of November.

“It is a groundbreaking fact that solar thermal is the only technology to be enabled to obtain the A+++ label”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2013

The third annual General Assembly of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) under the presidency of Robin Welling took place in Berlin at the end of November after an invitation by the German solar industry association BSW Solar. In an interview with solarthermalworld.org, Welling describes the future challenges of the sector and analyses the difficult market situation in Europe. The photo shows the Kick-off meeting of new joined working group ESTESC in Berlin on the day before the General Assembly.
Photo: ESTIF

Associations Kick off European Solar Thermal Energy Standardisation & Certification Working Group

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2013

Four major solar and heating associations in Europe jointly kicked off the ESTESC working group in Berlin at the end of November. ESTESC stands for European Solar Thermal Energy Standardisation & Certification. The four associations are the two Brussels-based associations European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and the Association of the European Heating Industry (EHI), as well as German associations BSW Solar and the Federal Industrial Association of Germany - House, Energy and Environmental Technology, BDH. All members of the four organisations have been invited to become active participants of a number of subgroups within the ESTECS working group. Christian Stadler, Technical Head at Austrian company General Solar Systems, was elected Chair of the ESTESC for the next three years. He started his career in the solar thermal industry in 1991 and worked in leading positions at 4 different collector manufacturers. Since 2008, he has been responsible for product management, development and strategic sourcing at General Solar Systems with its major brand Sonnenkraft.
Photo: General Solar Systems

SHC 2013: “Be transparent about the performance”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 7, 2013

Europe’s first International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, the SHC 2013, has been a success. Between 23 and 25 September, around 400 participants from 37 different countries met in Freiburg in the south of Germany to discuss research, technology and market-related issues. This was almost double the number of experts which had joined the first SHC conference last year in San Francisco. The 15 keynote speeches, 90 oral and 140 poster presentations covered a huge variety of topics from engineering and new materials to enhancing already available products.
Photo: PSE

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