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Europe, Pool Heating

REN 21: Solar Thermal Contributes Significantly to Hot Water Production

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 30, 2014
top ten 2012According to REN21’s Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, which was published at the UN-hosted Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York at the beginning of June, solar thermal technologies contribute significantly to hot water production in many countries and increasingly to space heating and cooling, as well as industrial processes. REN21 is a global multi-stakeholder network for renewable energy policy, connecting key actors from governments, international organisations, industry associations, science and academia, as well as civil society. First released in 2005, the report provides a comprehensive and timely overview of renewable energy markets, industries, investments and policy developments worldwide. The renewable energy data is provided by an international network of more than 500 contributors, researchers and authors. According to report data, the world added 55.4 GWth (more than 79 million m2) of solar heat capacity in 2012, increasing the cumulative installed capacity of all collector types in operation by over 14 % for a year-end total of 283.4 GWth. The chart above shows the shares in global capacity in operation across 2012’s top ten countries.
Source: Renewables 2014 Global Status Report

CERN’s Ultra High Vacuum Flat Plate Solar Collector Markets and Applications (2008)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on August 4, 2011

This is a presentation from the CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) about solar thermal technologies and applications.

The presentation reviews the different market applications (hot water and heating, space heating and cooling, desalination, pool heating, industrial processes and electricity production). It also gives data on the European energy market and the market share of the different solar technologies. The document indicates the market drivers for solar thermal and the forecasts for the coming years.


Solar Thermal in Spain (2007)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on July 16, 2009

This document produced by the Spanish IDAE (Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía) in 2007 explains what is solar thermal energy, its benefits and applications, providing at the same time practical information like for instance the incentive programmes existing in Spain (for both single family houses and hotels) and the prices of solar thermal equipment.

Process Heat: the Solar Thermal Challenge of the Future

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 15, 2008

So far solar thermal technology is mostly used for domestic hot water, pool heating and room heating. It´s often forgotten that there is a huge demand for heat below 250 °C in industry, which can easily be reached with solar thermal collectors.

An international team of researchers working on behalf of the International Energy Agency estimated the realisable potential of solar process heat in the European Union at 100 GWth, which corresponds to 140 million m2 of collector area. T

Today, however, a solar thermal capacity of only 13.5 GWth is in operation across Europe. Task 33 of the International Energy Agency reported 85 solar process heat plants worldwide with a capacity of 27 MWth. However, this market segment seems to be waking up. Just recently, news about huge solar process heat installations did the rounds. There is the 13,000 m2 plant in Hangzhou, China, on the roof of the textile dyeing factory Daly Ltd., which is most probably the biggest installation for solar process heat in the world. The total investment adds up to RMB 12 million (€ 1.11 million) including the tanks and mounting system. According to the project developer, the Chinese company Shenzhen Quir Solar Technology Co., Ltd, the solar collectors will save RMB 3.38 million (€ 0.31 million) per year, so that the investment will pay off within 3 years. The hot water is provided at a low temperature of 55 °C. Secondly, this summer the German brewery Hofmühl GmbH in Eichstätt will start operating a pilot plant with 1,389 m2 of vacuum tube collectors, which will supply process heat between 90 and 140 °C to the brewing and cleaning processes. The owner of the system estimates a reduction of 20 % in the annual energy demand of the factory. The company is convinced that the investment will pay off and has plans for subsequent upsizing to 3,000 m2. The project is being subsidised by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

What are the main topics for the future to open this new market sector?

Which are the major solar thermal markets worldwide?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2008

By far the largest solar thermal market in the world according to newly installed solar thermal capacity per year is China. In 2008, around 21 GWth (30 million m2) were sold in China, which was around 80 % of the world global solar thermal market.

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