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Germany: Renewable District Heating Grants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2017
Wagner SolarGerman politicians are beginning to appreciate the benefits of solar district heating, or SDH for short. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi, has launched District Heating Networks 4.0, a new subsidy scheme for grids which use solar, biomass or waste heat to meet at least 50 % of their customers’ annual demand. Since 1 July 2017, utilities and cooperatives have been able to apply for a grant covering up to 60 % of the cost of feasibility studies and up to 50 % of the investment in new networks. In late September, the BMWi also organised a workshop, Solar Heat in District Heating, during which planners and turnkey system suppliers reported on the good performance of recently completed SDH plants in the German town of Senftenberg and the city of Chemnitz (see photo). 
Photo: Wagner Solar
 

Spain: EUR 2 Million in Subsidies for Solar Heat Providers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 2, 2015
VillafrancaEighteen solar heat projects have profited from the national incentive scheme, Solcasa, in Spain since May 2010. The programme has been offering low-interest loans to Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), which install, operate and maintain solar thermal installations to sell their solar gains to customers, such as hotels or multi-family building owners. To date, the administrator of Solcasa, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, IDAE, has granted loans of EUR 2.09 million to 18 projects totalling 2.32 MWth. The photo shows the roof installation owned and operated by Spanish company Sumersol at the nursing home in Villafranca de los Caballeros, a town in eastern Spain. 
Photo: Sumersol
 

Worldwide: Largest Flat Plate Collector Manufacturers in 2013

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 5, 2014
The number one in the ranking of the worldwide largest flat plate collector manufacturers based on collector area produced in 2013 is still Austrian OEM collector manufacturer Greenonetec, followed by three non-European manufacturers from BRICS countries: Soletrol from Brazil, as well as two companies from China, Prosunpro and Five Star. Germany’s largest flat plate collector manufacturer, Bosch Thermotechnik, only came in fifth place, down from being second in the previous ranking in 2012. German agency solrico created the ranking after carrying out a worldwide survey among companies serving the solar thermal sector in September and October 2014. Who has ranked how well this year shows a lot about the international trends of the global solar thermal industry. 
Source: solrico / manufacturers' information
 

Germany: Insolvency of Long-Standing Collector Manufacturer

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 5, 2014
Wagner SolarThe news about the insolvency of Wagner & Co Solartechnik in April has shocked the German solar thermal sector. The appointed preliminary insolvency administrator, Dr Jan Markus Plathner, solicitor at Brinkmann & Partner, stated in a press release that Wagner initiated insolvency procedures on 22 April 2014. The company, which was founded in 1979, is one of the longest-lived solar thermal system suppliers in Germany. It has been producing collectors for almost 30 years and has sold more than 1 million m² of collector area. The company is well-known for its highly efficient collectors with anti-reflective coating on the glass cover, which achieved excellent results during the tests by Germany’s consumer organisation, Stiftung Warentest. Wagner also made headlines for its zero-emission collector factory, which was inaugurated in 2008 (see photo) and for the second highly efficient office building opened in 2012. Another particular characteristic of the company is its shareholding structure: Wagner is fully owned by its employees.
Photo: Wagner

USA: Massachusetts Supports Commercial Solar Systems with up to USD 25,000

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 18, 2011

 Massachusetts State House in Boston In Massachusetts, a new support programme for large-scale solar thermal systems has come into effect recently. Building owners can now apply for grants of up to USD 25,000 (residential and commercial systems) or even USD 30,000 (systems on public buildings) thanks to the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Commercial Pilot Program. Pre-studies can also be funded with up to USD 10,000 – applicants have only to pay 25 % of the costs themselves and will receive the rest as a grant. The photo shows the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
Photo: Jens Goetzke/pixelio

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