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French SOCOL network analyses market drivers and barriers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 10, 2018
EnerplanThe SOCOL network has become more involved than ever in shaping the future of the French solar thermal sector, having grown quickly from just 155 experts in 2013 to 2,500 today. Great efforts are being made to improve the image of solar thermal as a cost-effective, reliable technology for commercial applications. Despite the favourable environment, the French market has experienced a notable decline over recent years. Preliminary data from 2017 shows the newly installed collector to have been as little as 50,000 m², a decrease of 15 % compared to the year prior. Only multi-family properties and large-scale systems seem to be bucking the trend. 
Source: Uniclima
 

French PVT market is picking up

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 22, 2017
DualsunThe IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will create its own international research platform on PVT systems in January 2018. Researchers and industry representatives from 13 countries so far will then start evaluating new PVT systems for HVAC solutions. This IEA SHC task, which is planned to run until the end of 2020, is being announced at a time when the PVT market in several European countries, such as France and Switzerland, is picking up speed. Experts with an R&D or manufacturing background are welcome to join the platform (see the contact details at the end of this news article). 
Photo: Dualsun
 

Project partners guarantee SDH yield

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 21, 2017
ADEME15 December saw the inauguration of the first installation supported by the subsidy scheme for large-scale solar thermal projects in France. The 2,340 m² collector field by German manufacturer KBB Kollektorbau has since been feeding into a biomass district heating network of Châteaubriant, a town in western France. Altogether, the subsidy scheme’s administrator, French energy agency Ademe, approved six solar thermal projects during the first tender invitation called Appel à Projets National Grandes Installations Solaires Thermiques. The second one in November 2017 led to the submission and approval of a 14,000 m² solar process heat project, which is currently in planning. The programme inviting large-scale solar thermal tenders started in 2015 (see the database of incentive programmes for more information). There are two new submission deadlines planned for March and November 2018.
Photo: Ademe
 

France Increases Public Support for Solar Thermal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 11, 2015

The French energy agency Ademe has been supporting renewable heat production in the industry, the district heating sector and at multi-family buildings since 2009. The budget of the national subsidy scheme, Fonds Chaleur (Heat Fund), will double in amount from around EUR 240 million per year to EUR 420 million in 2017. During 2009 to 2014, solar installations accounted for as little as 6 % of Fonds Chaleur's EUR 1.2 billion (see the attached report). Despite the high subsidy amount, the number of solar thermal applications is declining, as is the French solar market in general. Ademe is trying to counter the negative trend by offering new incentive schemes to address the large solar systems segments.
Source: Ademe

France: Industry Does Not Yet Surrender

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 3, 2015
Workshop Nantes 2015The one-day workshop of the French solar sector to discuss the General State of Solar Heat in 2015 (États Généraux de la Chaleur Solaire 2015) took place in Nantes on 20 October with around 130 participants. The market is still decreasing, but the industry is closing its ranks to get out of the difficult situation. Multi-family housing and large-scale solar fields could give solar a second chance – that's at least what the French solar sector has been betting on. The workshop was organised by Enerplan, the Union of Professionals in Solar Energy, and supported by the French energy agency Ademe, as well as French gas supplier GrDF, a subsidiary of French utility Engie, formerly GDF Suez. 
Photo: Enerplan
 

France: Subvention Scheme Requirements for Collective Solar Thermal Installations in Languedoc-Roussillon – Prométhée Programme (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on March 3, 2015

ADEME, the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management, has published a guidance document on the requirements needed to benefit from state aids for the installation of collective solar thermal systems in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon. The programme grants financial aids for feasibility studies and for solar thermal installation in buildings with high domestic hot water needs, such as social housing, hospitals, hotels, swimming pools.

Solar Thermal Systems in Industry (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on January 2, 2015

This presentation was given by Stéphane Joblot of E-Sol, a company specialized in renewable energy studies, during a workshop organized in the framework of the Energievie.info programme of the Alsace region, with the support of  ADEME, the French Environment Agency.  After giving a general overview of various solar thermal techonololgies and applications, the speaker shares the findings from a case study which analyzed the process needs of an agri-food company in the city of Colmar. This company operates 5 days a week and needs 4.000 liters of water at 60° C daily.

France: Debate about Planned Tax Credit Reductions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 31, 2013
In 2013, all indicators are flashing red! According to the sales statistics from Uniclima, the French union for the heating, cooling and ventilation industry, the newly installed collector area is expected to shrink to around 200,000 m² in 2013. All three major segments of the market declined. Uniclima estimates hot water systems for single-family houses (CESI in French) to have dropped by 21% and combi systems for single-family houses (SSC in French) to have shrunk by 15%. For the first time after 2010, the segment of multi-family houses with larger solar thermal systems (ESC in French) seems to have also reduced in volume by 13%. The situation was quite different over the last two years, when the decline in the single-family housing market was offset by a strong increase in the multi-family building segment. 
Source: Enerplan for 2007 to 2011, Uniclima for 2012 and 2013

France: Solar Thermal Energy under Review

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 1, 2013

On 11 October, around 100 solar thermal specialists followed the invitation of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, ADEME, to Paris, France, in order to discuss the unsatisfying situation of the French solar heating and cooling market. The meeting included a presentation of the results of the recently finalised study “Analysis of the competitiveness and development of the solar thermal sector in France” (official summary not yet available). An action plan is intended to show the industry how to become more competitive.
Photo: Lydie Bahjejian

France: National Conference Debates Solar Thermal Future

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 6, 2013

The July 2013 report of the Court of Auditors shows that solar thermal technology is considered too inefficient and too expensive in comparison with other renewable technologies. The chart on the left, which has been taken from the study, depicts that 25 % of public renewable funding in the last seven years was spent on solar thermal and solar photovoltaics, whereas the supported systems only produced 1.6% of the total renewable heat and electricity in 2011. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Paul Kaaijk, responsible for solar thermal within the national subsidy scheme Fonds Chaleur at ADEME, about the current situation of the French solar thermal market.
Source: Cour des Comptes, July 2013 (page 115)

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