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Solar Water Heaters Not First Choice of EU-GUGLE Participants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 15, 2015
Tampere Project FinnlandFinding feasible renovation models to change energy-consuming buildings into nearly zero-energy ones is the aim of the EU-GUGLE project, which stands for European cities serving as Green Urban Gate towards Leadership in sustainable Energy. The programme was launched at the six participating European cities of Aachen (Germany), Bratislava (Slovakia), Milan (Italy), Sestao (Spain), Tampere (Finland) and Vienna (Austria) in 2013. Each one of these cities agreed to renovate 226,000 m2 of living space over five years by increasing the share of renewable energy sources to 25 % in order to save between 40 % and 80 % of primary energy consumption with it. The photo shows the collector installation on the roof of a multi-family building in Tampere, one of the very few solar thermal installations in the EU project. 
Photo: Ecofellows

Europe’s Policy Advocacy: Don’t Miss Opportunities of Solar Heating and Cooling

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 30, 2015

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation is expanding its services in policy advocacy and communication. In October 2014, the Brussels-based association set up a new information tool for members called ESTIF Policy Briefing, which is a regular newsletter gathering links to the most recent news from the EU commission and other international organisations relevant to the solar heating and cooling sector. In July, ESTIF started a new series of Webmeetings with national trade associations in form of webinars. During the first online meeting, ESTIF´s policy officer, Stefano Lambertucci, informed the association representatives about major policy topics from the European Commission and suggested actions at national level. Lambertucci joined ESTIF in 2014 after previous jobs in the Permanent Representation of Italy and in the European Commission. He graduated in International Relations and created and manages the new policy communication tools, such as the ESTIF Twitter account and the Policy Briefing newsletter.

Central Europe: Solar District Heating Cost Comparison

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 15, 2015
Solites CostsGerman research institute Solites has compared different models of solar heat use in district heating networks by focusing on the economic viability of these projects. The study Solar Heat Networks for Baden-Württemberg – Fundamentals. Potentials. Strategies. published at the beginning of July was supported by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of Baden-Württemberg, a federal state in the south of Germany (see the attached document in German). The authors of the study analyse seven different generic types of district heating systems which integrate solar thermal, and they come to the conclusion that type 3, 6 and 7, i.e., applications in small rural district heating systems as well as integrations into existing larger urban district heating systems, generate the lowest solar heat costs. On average, heat costs are around 60 EUR/MWh over a period of 25 years, excluding subsidies. In some cases, they even get below 50 EUR/MWh. 
Source: Solites 

Resource/Cost Estimates For Solar Thermal Space/Water Heating (2010-2020)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 25, 2015

The Solar heat resource is dependent in the first instance on the insolation falling on the surface of Ireland. The usable power generated by solar panels will vary depending on latitude, time of year and weather conditions. According to the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, current technology produces per square metre of solar panel between 300 and 450 thermal kWh/year.  The resource area is based on the roof area of existing and future dwellings.

Experiences in Solar Water Heater Markets in Europe and Scope for Collaboration with India (2015)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on June 4, 2015

This document was presented by Gerhard Stryi-Hipp of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE at the RE-INVEST Conference held in New Delhi, India, on 17 February 2015.

Solar Days 2015: Individual Schedules in Eight Countries

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2015
LuftballonsThe European Solar Days (ESD) seem to have lost some momentum. Since the European Union stopped co-financing the ESD, it seems that several national partners among the so far more than 20 participating countries have found it harder to get monetary support for their work and all of the activities required for coordinating the Solar Days campaign at national level. Still, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has been able to agree with several previously participating countries on a common schedule from 1 to 15 May. Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Poland and Serbia have already told ESTIF about their activities in May (see the table below). Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia and Spain, however, will not offer any solar days this year. The photo shows an event in an primary school in Switzerland
Photo: Scuola Elementare Canobbio

Estimated Global Solar Thermal Turnover in 2013: around EUR 18 billion

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 4, 2015
TurnoverSolar heating and cooling is not really the most transparent sector regarding market and industry figures. There is no global solar heat industry council and companies around the globe are using quite different technologies and supply chains – which is exactly why all entities and brand associations have so far hesitated to publish a worldwide turnover for the solar thermal industry. This news piece by German agency solrico will make the first attempt at assessing the sector’s global turnover, which it estimates at EUR 17.996 billion. The following text will list all of the assumptions and estimations done to get to that number, so that any stakeholder or organisation with additional or different information may contact us to improve the assessment ( The chart on the left shows the distribution of newly installed, glazed collector area in 2013, and the chart on the right depicts the regional share in 2013 turnover. 
Source: solrico

Solar Cooling Week in China: Sector Still Growing in Asia and Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 30, 2015
Solar Cooling WeekSolar thermal cooling is a “small, but steadily growing market,” Dr Uli Jakob from the Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling pointed out in his presentation Solar Air-Conditioning in Europe during the Solar Cooling Week, which took place in Shanghai from 23 to 27 March. The week started with two experts meetings of IEA SHC Task 48 (Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling Systems) and Task 53 (New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems) on solar cooling and ended with the Solar Cooling Conference. About 80 % of the over 100 participants came from Asian countries. Conference Chairman Daniel Mugnier (see photo) thanked “Shanghai Jiao Tong University – and especially, Professor Yajun Dai  for having organised “a perfect Solar Cooling Week.” 
Photo: dr. jakob energy research

Expression of Interest (2002)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on April 6, 2015

This proposal, prepared by Professor Dr. Ursula Eicker at the University of Applied Science Stuttgart in Germany, is set to establish Europe as the leading producer of solar thermal cooling technologies.  It describes what the main focuses of the research effort are, like optimisation to replace electrically driven compressor technology, for example.  The proposal describes the need for solar assisted cooling and assures that it contributes to priority thematic area of Framework 6 and the European Research Area.

Solar District Heating Guidelines: Collection of Factsheets WP3 – D3.1 & D 3.2 (2012)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on April 3, 2015

This document, issued by the platform Solar District Heating (SDH) and supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union, gathers a series of factsheet aiming at helping those who plan to build a solar district plant.


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