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Germany: First Record-Size Solar District Heating Plant in 11 Years

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 27, 2016
Senftenberg GermanyFriday, 23 September 2016, was the inauguration date for the now largest solar thermal collector field in Germany. Since August, 8,300 m² of vacuum tube collectors (5.8 MWth) set up in the town of Senftenberg, 140 km south of Berlin, have been feeding energy into the municipality’s district heating network. The previously largest field since 2005 – a 7,100 m² flat plate collector installation (5.1 MWth) – is located in the southern German town of Crailsheim. The new Senftenberg solar field was designed, manufactured and implemented by German system integrator Ritter XL Solar. The 1,680 collectors, the heat transfer unit and around 6,600 m of pipework were installed within record time: All in all, the project took only six months. The general contractor for the EUR 4.5 million investment was Berlin-based E&G Energiebau, which had received support from the Integral Project, the company responsible for sizing and integrating the solar heat into the existing network. 
Photo: Stadtwerke Senftenberg
 

Kosovo: Loan and Grant Funding of Sustainable Energy Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 25, 2014
KosovoBy declaring independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo became Europe´s youngest nation. The good news from the small country in the central Balkans with its 1.8 million inhabitants is that there have not been any major clashes between Kosovar Albanians and Serbians lately. Still, Kosovo faces plenty of severe challenges, such as a skyrocketing unemployment rate and an environment seriously harmed by fifty-year old coal power plant Kosovo A, which is said to be Europe’s number one coal polluter. Given the fact that Kosovo has the fifth-largest lignite resources in the world, the government plans to replace Kosovo A by a modern 600 MW coal power plant. But this approach has encountered fierce resistance from environmentalists organised in the umbrella organisation Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development. They demand a shift in the state’s energy strategy, away from carbon-rich lignite to clean renewable energy resources. Recently, they have launched their No New Coal – Safer Future campaign and declared Kosovo “a nation at the forefront of the global debate over energy access and the role of fossil fuels versus cleaner energy.”
Map: Wikipedia
 

Germany: Renewable Heating Law Pushes Solar Thermal in New Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 19, 2013

With almost one year of delay, the German government finally published the mandatory evaluation on the effects of the Renewable Energies Heating Law (EEWärmeG) in December 2012. The German ministries involved had a hard time to agree on whether the existing measures are enough to fulfil the 2020 target of 14% renewable heat or whether stricter laws and higher financial incentives would be necessary. The final report is a compromise which seems to have no clear goal: On the one hand, it states that there is no need for short-term changes. On the other hand, it says that the share of renewable heat will only reach 12.2 % by 2020. The chart shows that heat pumps profited much more from the EEWärmeG than solar thermal technologies.
Data Source: German Federal Environment Ministry

Germany: Backlash against Solar Heating and Cooling Sector

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 5, 2010

Prospects for the German solar thermal industry remain gloomy. For the second time in a row, the market has shrunk significantly. The installed collector area in 2009 (1,615,000 m2) was already 23 % less than the record figure in 2008 (2,100,000 m2). In 2010, however, installation figures have again been down from last year's figures by around 20 %. “The drop in installations is hurting the industry badly, because most German collector and tank manufacturers have just invested in new production facilities, which are now running below capacity,” Helmut Jäger, Second Chairman of solar industry association BSW Solar and Managing Director of Solvis, a manufacturer and supplier of renewable heating systems, says.

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.

Denmark: Delivering Solar Heat at a fixed price

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 30, 2010

The newly founded Danish company of Nordic Clean Energy (NCE) offers operators of district and local community heating grids all over Europe a feed-in of solar heat from large collector plants at fixed prices.

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