Jordan is showing rapidly increasing demand for air-conditioning. Total annual emissions from cooling commercial buildings add up to 600,000 tonnes of CO2, an amount equal to emissions from about 120,000 passenger vehicles per year. This has prompted the German Agency for International Cooperation to initiate the project Solar Cooling in Industry and Commerce in Jordan. The German Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) played a key role in this transfer of technology and know-how for the planning and installation as well as monitoring of four solar-driven air-conditioning systems in public and private buildings. The photo shows the 388 m² collector field which was commissioned at Petra Guest House in February 2015, around the same time as the one at German Jordanian University.
The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) in collaboration with the Department of Energy and the South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is building up an online register of Energy Service Companies (ESCO register). Since the register portal’s launch in November 2016, about 40 ESCOS have registered, which are currently reviewed. The aim is that the register assists the public and private sector in identifying, designing, developing, financing and implementing co-generation or energy efficiency and demand side management projects in buildings, for street lighting or the water infrastructure.
Despite being the most robust solar thermal market across North and South America in terms of growth (8 % YoY in 2015), Mexico is still struggling domestically to harmonise its quality standards for solar thermal heaters. The lack of understanding between local producers and equipment importers has been the main hurdle to legally binding and uniform rules. However, the process is ongoing and the market’s stakeholders expect a draft of the official NOM-027-ENER-2015 to be available for public consultation by the end of 2016.
The SoPro India project has scientifically monitored two solar water heating systems for a year with the aim of presenting reliable data on system performance (see the attached PDFs). The measured 20 % solar efficiency would put the ROI between 2 and 3 years, depending on the development of fossil fuel costs. The researchers from German institute Fraunhofer ISE see new systems offering “good opportunities for further technical improvement.” SoPro was implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Mexican company Inventive Power helps industrial customers to reduce their energy costs, which in turn reduces pollution in major cities. “Besides traffic, industrial boilers are responsible for much of the pollution in urban areas,” Ángel Mejía Santiago explained during the Intersolar Europe. The founder and CEO of Inventive Power emphasised that concentrating solar systems could offer energy at significantly lower cost than thermal power generation by natural gas or oil. Santiago sees great market potential in the technology, as there have been 32,000 boilers and water heaters installed across the country – at hotels and hospitals as well as food and beverage companies. The photo shows a parabolic trough installation with 433 m² of mirror aperture at the Nestlé dairy factory in Lagos de Moreno, central Mexico, which started operating in 2014.
A great deal of sunlight, large investment grants and subsidised energy prices: These are the factors determining the profitability of big solar thermal systems in Tunisia, according to the authors of the study Opportunities for solar thermal systems in the tertiary and industrial sectors in Tunisia, a publication by the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, (see attached document in English, the French version is under consultation). Under certain circumstances, a solar thermal system can achieve a double-digit Internal Rate of Return (IRR), for example, if it is installed at LPG-dependent hotels or hospitals on the Tunisian island of Djerba. When solar replaces natural gas in commercial buildings in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, the IRR is still significantly higher than the estimated 4.3 % inflation per year. However, there are difficulties with the economic feasibility of solar process heat applications because not even top reference cases have fulfilled investor expectations. The authors emphasise that the importance Tunisian businesses currently place on payback periods for investing may lead them to overlook valuable projects.
The Jordan Minister of Environment, Dr Taher Shakhshir, inaugurated the first solar steam system in Jordan on 17 May 2015. The Fresnel collector plant was set up on the roof of pharmaceuticals producer Ram Pharma, located at the Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein Industrial Estate about 15 km away from Amman, Jordan’s capital. The concentrating Fresnel collectors manufactured by Industrial Solar, Germany, supply steam at 160 °C to the factory’s steam grid, which provides the energy needed for sterilisation, drying and fermenting. Solar energy is said to save around 30 % of the annual diesel demand for Ram Pharma processes.
Originally, the Brazilian Labelling Program, PBE, was supposed to become mandatory in July 2014. Now, in 2015, the industry is still waiting for the so-called compulsoriedade to become reality. The label has so far only been mandatory for solar water heaters intended for the federal social housing programme Minha Casa Minha Vida (see photo). In January the press department of INMETRO confirmed per email that there was already a new deadline for manufacturers: From September 2015 on, Brazilians may only produce or import collectors and tanks adhering to the technical requirements for quality based on standard ABNT NBR 15747, which is European norm EN 12975-2 adapted to Brazilian climate conditions. INMETRO also confirmed that resellers would still be allowed to buy non-conforming products until March 2016. After that date they could only sell non-conforming products from their own stocks. From March 2017 on, Brazilian developers would no longer be able to buy or install any solar heating system without an INMETRO certificate – assuming that there won’t be any more delays in implementation.
The new labour standards for solar thermal technology installers approved in Mexico in 2014 seem to have borne fruit. According to Daniel García, President of the renewable energy industry association FAMERAC, some 400 installers have so far been certified for the installation of thermosiphon systems under the new measure, which aims to improve the quality and reliability of newly installed solar thermal systems across the country. Another 1,000 installers are expected to gain certification this year. The photo shows a trainee on the roof of the national renewable energy training centre, CENCER, in Mexico City, after he completed the test installation.
On 6 and 7 November, solar experts working for development cooperation agencies all around the world will meet in Frankfurt, Germany, for the Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation conference. The two-day event by experienced German conference organiser OTTI will be held for the very first time. The German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will support the conference by paying travel and participation costs for several of the international speakers. The photo shows electricians in training visiting a solar water pump installation in Togo, West Africa.