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Tunisia Funds Solar Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 7, 2013

Tunisia is venturing into another completely new solar thermal application area: solar process heat. After having started the national support programme Prosol first in 2005 for residential solar water heaters, then in 2009 for hotels, hamams (Turkish baths), academic houses and hospitals, Prosol Industry is now already the third scheme supporting solar thermal in the country. The National Fund for Energy Management, FNME, provides 30 % of the investment costs for a solar thermal process heat system, up to 75 Tunisian Dinar (TND) per m². The first step in the process was carrying out a market study, which identified 84 industrial premises and investigated their degree of commitment to using solar technology. The photo shows a successful FNME-supported installation at the Djerba Beach Hotel with 312 m² of collector area and a 15 m³ storage volume.
Photo: ANME

Germany: Industrial Solar and Viessmann Work on Standardised Process Steam System

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 4, 2013

Together with the German Aerospace Centre's Institute of Solar Research, DLR, German companies Industrial Solar and Viessmann are working on a standardised hybrid system based on solar energy and fossil fuel to generate steam for industrial applications. The so-called SolSteam project is being funded by the German Federal Environment Ministry, BMU, and its first milestone is to find a customer for the pilot plant.
Photo: Industrial Solar

Germany: "A standstill is not the answer, a system solution is."

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 26, 2013

The German solar thermal market has shrunk yet again. The figures for 2012 show a 9% drop in sales compared to 2011. This year has been off to a very slow start as well: In the first quarter of 2013, collector area sales were down by 19% compared to the same period last year, according to the BDH/BSI statistics. The industry seems to finally wake up to the harsh reality, conceding that something is fundamentally wrong with the market’s development. Signs of a wake-up call were quite apparent at the yearly Solar Thermal Energy Symposium, which took place at the end of April and had been organised by the German East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI. This time, there was none of the usual talk about being patient and letting the high oil price do its work. At the start of the event, representatives from associations, scientific institutes and the Federal Environment Ministry spoke openly about the industry’s home-grown problems.
Photos: OTTI

Germany: Fraunhofer ISE’s New Climate Test Stand

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 16, 2013

At the end of November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE started its new test stand for solar thermal collectors. Using this test stand, the scientists aim to simulate mechanical loads under extreme climatic conditions, e.g., wind or snow, and analyse their effects on the solar collectors. The test stand is part of the MechTest project, which has been running at the Fraunhofer ISE with support from the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) since 2010. The scientists hope that the project will be able to determine the mechanical stresses put on solar collectors and their mounting systems by wind and snow in order to develop quality assurance systems based on these results.
Photo: Stephanie Banse

Costa Rica: Training Course at Earth University

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2012

An excellent campus, a highly motivated group of professionals and an abundantly sunny country: Martin Schnauss (third from right) is very satisfied with his Costa Rican training course, which took place in the middle of November at the international campus of the Earth University, a two-hour drive from the country’s capital, San José. Together with his colleague Katie Brown, Schnauss held the one-week training course about solar heating and cooling technology in cooperation with the German Renewables Academy AG (RENAC). The course, which was financed by the German Federal Environment Ministry, BMU, was free of charge for the participants.
Photos: RENAC AG

Germany: Environment Ministry Pushes up Solar Process Heat Subsidies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 16, 2012

The Federal Environment Ministry has approved new frame conditions for the MAP, the national Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies. Since 15 August, house owners have been receiving a minimum subsidy of EUR 1,500 for a solar combi system, which supplies hot water and space heating. The original tariff of 90 EUR/m2 stays in place additionally. The German Environment Minister, Peter Altmaier (see photo), has also reinforced the state’s commitment to process heat: Clients can now receive a subsidy of 50 % of the net investment costs under the MAP programme. So far, the only measure to cover part of the investment costs (30%) had been a low-interest loan by the German KfW banking group.
Photo: German Environment Ministry

Mexico: Procalsol Programme Ends this Year

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 22, 2012

 Solar thermal statistics of Mexico The programme Procalsol that started in 2007 will end in December 2012. It has been Mexico’s first long-term scheme to support solar water heating. Experts disagree on whether the end of Procalsol will influence the solar thermal market in the country. In addition, it is not only the Procalsol’s end which makes predictions difficult: This July, the Mexicans will elect a new president, who will take over in December. The chart shows that the annual installed collector area has lagged behind Procalsol’s plans since 2009. Around 30 % of the installed collector area in the chart above include unglazed swimming pool absorbers.
Source: Solar Heat Worldwide, Anes, manufacturer`s information

Mexico: 25,000 Solar Home Project starts with Delay

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 23, 2010

 André Eckermann (left), GTZ, and Victor Manuel Borrás Setién, Infonavit” Final agreement: André Eckermann (left), Programme Director of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and Victor Manuel Borrás Setién, head of Infonavit, shook hands during the official launch of the 25,000 solar roof programme in Mexico in the middle of June. The programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
Photo: GTZ

Germany: Incentive Programme continues under new Conditions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 12, 2010

After many weeks of waiting and worrying, it is now official: On 7 July, the budget committee of the German parliament unblocked the EUR 115 million funds intended for the country's market incentive programme (MAP). The German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), which is responsible for the MAP, confirmed in a press release a day later that, as of 12 July, applications are accepted again.

Germany: Blocked Funds Cause Stop of Rebate Programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 28, 2010

The after effects of the financial crisis are again threatening the German solar sector: Not only had the industry to cope with a 25% decrease in sales in 2009, but now the National Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies (MAP) seems to already run out of money – although the new year is not even half over.

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