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EU Funding for Solutions to Decarbonise Heating and Cooling Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2017
Horizon 2020A search for ‘solar thermal’ in a recently published 195-page document titled Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy will not return encouraging results (see the attached document). The publication by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shows only 6 entries in total. “Solar thermal is definitely not a priority of the new programme,” said Daniel Mugnier, Head of R&D at French engineering services company Tecsol. “And even if the European Solar Thermal Technology & Innovation Platform were to try to promote several hot topics, there’s only one call [LC-SC3-RES-7-2019 on solar process heat] dedicated to the technology.”
 

Solergy Collector Label: EU Commission Confirms Clear Distinction from Energy Labelling

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 28, 2015
The implementation of voluntary collector label Solergy will enter into the second phase in 2016. The European Commission has confirmed that there was no likelihood of confusing the voluntary mark with the official energy labelling stipulated since September 2015 for heating devices across Europe, the Steering Committee of the Solar Heating Initiative said in a letter sent to selected stakeholders in the middle of December. The letter went on to explain that it would now be the responsibility of DIN Certco, the German certification body, to issue Solergy labels officially and register the certificates in an online database. During the first phase in the second half of 2015, it had been Stefan Abrecht, the initiator of the voluntary collector label and General Manager of German company Solar Experience, who had issued the certificates.
 

Germany: Debate about Voluntary Collector Output Label Solergy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 4, 2015
Supporters SolergyThe new collector label Solergy has just been created and has already sparked a lot of debate in Germany. On the one hand, there is a growing number of collector manufacturers, associations and also the certification body DIN Certco – which are supporting the implementation of the label (see the list of logos at the beginning of November). On the other hand, there are the European bodies relevant to the solar thermal sector, such as the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and the Solar Keymark Network (SKN), which are not in favour of Solergy, although they do fancy the idea behind such a collector energy output label. To understand the reasons for the controversy, one has to look at the evolution of the label. 
Source: solar-heating-initiative.com

 

 

European R&D Programme Horizon 2020: Good Opportunities for Solar Thermal?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 3, 2015
Horizon 2020 budget sharesThe European Commission introduced its work programme 2016/2017 for the R&D funding programme Horizon 2020 during two info days in Brussels on 14 and 15 September. One of the first presentations was by Paul Verhoef, Head of the Renewable Energy Sources unit at the EU’s DG Research & Innovation, who showed that solar thermal has so far been gravely underfinanced during the 2014-2015 calls. The cumulated budget for solar heating and cooling was EUR 4.4 million out of a total of EUR 554 million, which means a share of less than 1 %. The pie chart, which depicts the allocation of the precisely EUR 553.8 million during 2014 and 2015, makes clear that energy sources such as ocean-based ones have received almost 10 times as much funding (EUR 41.4 million), and the Biofuels/Bioenergy sector has received an almost 20 times larger share of the total budget (EUR 83 million).
Source: DG Research & Innovation
 

Solar Water Heaters Not First Choice of EU-GUGLE Participants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 15, 2015
Tampere Project FinnlandFinding feasible renovation models to change energy-consuming buildings into nearly zero-energy ones is the aim of the EU-GUGLE project, which stands for European cities serving as Green Urban Gate towards Leadership in sustainable Energy. The programme was launched at the six participating European cities of Aachen (Germany), Bratislava (Slovakia), Milan (Italy), Sestao (Spain), Tampere (Finland) and Vienna (Austria) in 2013. Each one of these cities agreed to renovate 226,000 m2 of living space over five years by increasing the share of renewable energy sources to 25 % in order to save between 40 % and 80 % of primary energy consumption with it. The photo shows the collector installation on the roof of a multi-family building in Tampere, one of the very few solar thermal installations in the EU project. 
Photo: Ecofellows
 

POLYSOL Report Summary (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on November 27, 2014

POLYSOL is an EU-funded project, which started in 2011 under the 7th Framework Programme for Research for SME’s, with the aim to develop a modular all-polymer solar thermal collector for domestic hot water preparation and space heating which could be an alternative to conventional metallic collectors.    This report summarizes the work carried out over the first nine months of the project, provides technical information and shares the results of the various simulation studies.  These results show that polymer collectors can compete with the traditional metallic collectors.

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
 

Austria: European Buildings Directive Demands Better Interaction of Building Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 2, 2014
WelsThe coming years will see a sharp increase in the market uptake of highly energy-efficient buildings across Europe: According to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2010/31/EU), all new buildings must be Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings by 2020 - public buildings already by 2018. The European Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Conference, which took place in Wels, Austria, from 27 to 28 February 2014, was dedicated to buildings that fulfil these high efficiency standards and are supplied by renewable energy sources. It was part of the World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED), one of Europe’s largest annual conferences in the field of sustainable energy. The Wels conference had more than 750 participants from 59 countries this year.
Photo: WSED
 

European Energy Label: A+++ for Solar Packages in 2015

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 5, 2013

On 6 September 2013, the official journal of the European Commission published the regulations for the eco-design and energy labelling of water, space and combi heaters under the Ecodesign Directive (2005/32/EC). The documents were also translated into all EU-member states’ languages. Until now, this has been the latest official step after an eight-year political process. It also marks the start of a two-year transition period up to September 2015 when the regulations will come into effect.
Figure: vA Consult

EU Project: RELACS in Sustainable Holiday Accommodations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 11, 2013

What have the Albena resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast (see photo), the Bräuer restaurant in Weißkirchen, Austria, and the 2 Danby Cottages in the UK’s Forest of Dean in common? They are all part of the RELACS network. RELACS is short for “REnewabLe energy for tourist ACcommodation buildingS”, a project funded by the European Commission programme Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE). Its partners include hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and youth hostels in ten European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The photo shows the Arabella Beach hotel in Albena, Bulgaria, whose solar system produces 40 % of the building’s annual hot water.
Photo: RELACS

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