Solar district heating is becoming increasingly attractive to small towns and municipalities which are looking for energy independence and stable heat prices, a trend which was discussed at length during the October webinar by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Entitled Renewable district heating – Small local grids and cooperative utilities, it offered an opportunity for German and Danish experts to present successful case studies, underline the political frame conditions which foster renewable integration into district heating and explain the advantages of cooperatives (recording available online). The photo shows the experts participating in this first webinar of a three-part series coordinated by Riccardo Battisti, Head of EU Project SmartReFlex: Per Alex Sørensen and Per Kristensen from Denmark as well as Oliver Miedaner from German Solites (from left). The second webinar – Think big: Design rules and monitoring results of solar district heating systems – will be organised in cooperation with solarthermalworld.org and is scheduled for 6 December (online registration).
From 11 to 14 October, more than 300 experts in solar energy met in Palma de Mallorca for the EuroSun 2016 conference. Organised by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) in cooperation with the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), the conference is attended mainly by scientists and industry stakeholders from the solar heating and cooling sector. But for the first time, speakers also included well-known specialists from the photovoltaics sector. Two panel discussions illustrated the wide range of opinions on solar heat and solar electricity market development and the technologies' competitors. The photo shows Professor Eicke Weber (middle), newly elected Vice President of ISES and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE) based in Freiburg, Germany, and two of the three conference chairs: Professor Wolfgang Streicher (left) from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and Professor Víctor Martínez Moll (right) from the UIB.
Usually, the period between September and December is a popular time for holding conferences and fairs. This year is no different. Below, you will find a number of international events dedicated to solar heating and cooling in different corners of the globe. You can also go to the calendar of events for a more comprehensive list of what’s happening during the second half of 2016. Photo: Stephanie Banse
The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) broadens its sponsor network. The most recent members are the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), headquartered in Germany, and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) based in Qatar. ISES joined as a Sponsor in 2016 and GORD already in 2015. “We welcome the engagement of ISES and GORD in the IEA SHC Programme,“ says Ken Guthrie, Chairman of IEA SHC. “ISES represents an extensive network of solar thermal professionals from around the world and GORD opens the doors to the Gulf States – potential future markets for solar cooling“.
Two solar thermal conferences have recently extended their abstract submission dates. The EuroSun 2016 conference, which will take place on the Spanish island of Mallorca between 11 and 14 October 2016, will still accept submissions until 24 April. Step-by-step instructions, including abstract guidelines and an abstract template, are available on the EuroSun website. The SASEC 2016 conference, which is planned for 31 October to 2 November in Stellenbosch, South Africa, extended its submission deadline to 18 April 2016. Here, abstracts of 400 to 600 words can be uploaded as PDFs to the conference page. One of several key topics of both conferences: markets and technologies for solar heating and cooling. The photo shows participants of the EuroSun 2014 conference, which took place in France in September 2014.
From 2 to 4 December 2015, the SHC2015 conference in Istanbul brought together 233 researchers, industry specialists and other experts on solar heating and cooling. With 14 video interviews filmed at the conference, solarthermalworld.org highlighted the trends and pinpointed the crucial issues of today's global solar heating and cooling sector. The videos were jointly financed by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and the European Copper Association. They are available for download on the solarthermalworld.org YouTube channel.
Dr Klaus Vajen is the winner of the Achievement through Action Award of the International Solar Energy Society, ISES. The German professor from the University of Kassel and his research group were presented with the award during the Solar World Congress in South Korea at the beginning of November. The ISES award honours persons who have made significant achievements and contributions toward the advancement of solar energy systems and applications. Vajen joins an illustrious group of previous award recipients from the solar heating and cooling sector, such as Dr Adolf Goetzberger from German Research Institute Fraunhofer ISE (1993), Panos Lamaris, President of Greece collector manufacturer Sole (1999), Werner Weiss, Managing Director of Austrian Research Institute AEE INTEC (2003) and Professor Yin Zhiqiang from Tsinghua University, Beijing (2005). The prize is endowed with USD 1,900.
The interest in technology and market research on the solar heating and cooling sector is growing. The number of countries participating in the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC) increased significantly over the last two years from 20 to 25 nations. One of the most recent entries was Turkey in 2014, represented by GÜNDER, the Turkish Section of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Turkey is the second-largest market after China regarding new solar thermal installations and a gateway to the MENA region, SHC chairman Ken Guthrie praised the new member in a press release this February. Large-scale installations in prisons, hotels and social housing projects are gaining in volume (see photos). The majority of the 20 key solar thermal markets worldwide are now members of the IEA SHC except for India, Brazil, USA, Israel, Greece, Japan and Poland.
The solar thermal industry is facing a great challenge in entering new commercial solar thermal markets, be it tourism, solar process heat or large solar district heating. It needs new business models to convince commercial customers to use or to invest in solar thermal. A webinar jointly organised by International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and solarthermalworld.org on 23 June 2015 thoroughly analysed the current situation during presentations by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and three turnkey system suppliers: Industrial Solar, Germany, S.O.L.I.D., Austria, and Nextility, USA (find all four presentations attached to this news article). One thing to take away from the webinar was: Financing is a crucial bottleneck for large-scale turnkey system suppliers.
The solar thermal market worldwide is facing great challenges. After decades of concentrating on the single family housing owner as the key client group, now the industry is reaching out to new commercial customer groups in the tourism segment, in the housing industry and in the industrial sector. New business models to reduce upfront costs and risk for clients are absolutely essential to accelerate the deployment of solar thermal technology in these segments. To learn more about the realizable economic potential of solar heating technology in the commercial segment, and to discuss new business models, solarthermalworld.org offers a webinar in cooperation with International Solar Energy Society (ISES) on Tuesday 23 June 2015 at 3 to 4:30 pm Central European Summer Time.