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USA: SunShot Funds Development of Cost-Effective Concentrating Collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 29, 2016
SunshotOn 28 July, the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded grants to six research projects which aim to reduce the costs of concentrating solar collectors. The initiative is called COLLECTS, which is short for Concentrating Optics for Lower Levelized Energy Costs, and focuses on the most expensive component of a CSP plant: the collectors / the reflector. One of the beneficiaries of the COLLECTS budget of nearly USD 9 million is California-based, early-stage technology provider Sunvapor, which is planning to supply the industry with solar steam solutions more cost-effective than natural gas-based steam boilers. COLLECT is part of the DOE’s SunShot initiative started in 2011.
 

South Africa: Invitation to Tender Comes Several Months Later than Expected

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 4, 2016
South AfricaSouth Africa is back to the tender season. At the beginning of December, the Department of Energy (DoE) published its Invitation of Bids for the Manufacturing and Supply, Delivery and Warehousing of Solar Water Heater Systems for financial years 2015/2016, 2016/2017 as well as 2017/2018. It will end on 15 January 2016. The current tender was announced and expected since spring 2015. In her budget speech on 19 May 2015, the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, promised an improved solar water heater programme operated by the DoE already within the 2015 budget. But nothing happened until the beginning of December. The industry was not at all amused about the delay, as several publications of the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) show.
 

South Africa: Industry Cluster MANCOSA Calls for Quick Action

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 17, 2015
MANCOSAMANCOSA, the Solar Water Heating Manufacturers Cluster of South Africa, is raising its voice in the interest of the local solar thermal industry which has been left in a precarious situation following the termination of the Eskom rebate programme in April 2015. “The Department of Energy has let pass the self-announced deadline of July 1 without any announcement of a successor programme and has not even published any new time frame yet,” said Mike Breckenridge, Chairman of MANCOSA and Managing Director of collector manufacturer and system supplier GAP Holdings. “The industry needs a reliable framework for future investments.” 
 

South Africa: Companies Wait on New Eskom Rebate Scheme Requirements

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 21, 2014
Nelson Mandela BayShortly after Jacob Zuma was sworn in for his second term as South Africa’s president at the end of May, he delivered his state of the nation address, during which he presented his views on the further development of the national energy sector, promising new nuclear power capacities and shale gas utilisation. But he also underlined the need for “a sustainable energy mix of wind, solar, biomass and other technologies that increase the opportunity for rural development.” On 23 June 2014, the newly appointed Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, confirmed South Africa´s continued determination to promote solar thermal energy for heating and cooling and bring relief to the country’s overstrained power grid (see the attached document). “The ANC Government has set a target of an additional 1.3 million solar water geysers to be installed in households in the next five years,” she said. The photo shows subsidised housing with low-pressure solar water heaters in the municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Photo: Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality
 

South Africa: Rollout Delay Due to “70 % local production”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2013

Five years ago, the South African government launched its National Solar Water Heating Programme (NSWHP), aiming to install one million domestic Solar Water Heating (SWH) systems by 2014. Relief needed to come soon to South Africa´s overburdened power grid, which is why state-owned electricity provider Eskom implemented the NSWHP in form of a grant scheme. According to a presentation from 28 August 2013 by Mokgadi Modise, Chief Director of Clean Energy at the Department of Energy (DoE), the programme had led to the installation of 375,650 solar water heaters until 9 August 2013. The pie chart shows the distribution of subsidised solar systems across the South African provinces. The government had recently allocated an additional South African Rand (ZAR) 4.7 billion (ca. EUR 337 million) to speed up SWH installation, as mentioned in the presentation (see the attached document).
Source: Department of Energy

USA: Solar Heating and Cooling R&D Renewed

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 26, 2011

 Logo DOE
In policy lobbying even a single sentence included in a bill is, in some cases, already a huge success. This is exactly the case for the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that has recently passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives. “The Committee supports ongoing Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) research and development activities within the Building Technologies Program”, is the key sentence in the report that accompanies the bill.

Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Government (2011)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 6, 2011

This is a document from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help local governments and communities developing a solar energy plan. Authorities have realized the main obstacles are often at the administrative and legislative level, so with this document they aim at providing further assistance on how to draft and implement strategic local solar plans.

Heating Water with Solar Energy Costs Less at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution (2004)

Submitted by Hans Craen on December 30, 2009

This report was released by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy section of the U.S. Department of Energy in 2004. It highlights a large-scale solar thermal system installed at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) and breaks down the statistical output.

The system was financed through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), which include an average annual savings of $6,700. The system produces up to 50,000 gallons of hot water daily, 1,000 megawatt-hours of electricity and releases approximately 600 tons of CO2.

Overview of Solar Thermal Technologies (1999)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on July 29, 2009

This document, from 1999, provides an overview of key solar thermal applications - parabolic troughs, power towers and dish/engine systems - their characteristics, the kind of application they are best suited for, system performance, technologic comparison, together with a cost vs. value analysis.

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