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Uruguay: Raising Awareness and Quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2014
Uruguay Solar InstallationUruguay’s solar thermal market is growing slowly, but it is growing – thanks to a residential subsidy scheme and a government decree. The scheme, which started in March 2012, has so far subsidised a solar water heater in almost 1,000 households with between 40 and 70% of the investment costs. The decree, Decreto No 451/011, stipulates a 50% solar hot water share in sport clubs, hospitals and hotels for both newly built and soon-to-be-renovated buildings, a move that has already helped to install several larger systems. The photos show a case study of a larger system installed on the roof of the Lawn Tennis Club in Montevideo. The flat plate collectors from company Alejandro Baroni were manufactured locally. 
Photos: Andrés Eliseo Cabrera
 

European Solar Days: Raising Awareness in Eastern European Countries

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 1, 2014
The European Solar Days, Europe’s largest solar energy grassroots movement, is growing fast throughout Europe, with events expected to attract more than 700,000 participants. The Europe-wide campaign is promoting the use of solar energy for the production of electricity, heating and cooling. Between Thursday, 1 May, and Sunday, 18 May, solar energy supporters – from citizens to industry stakeholders and from lobbyists to politicians – will come together for celebrations, educational activities, demonstrations and other events.
 

Europe: Pedro Dias Appointed New ESTIF Secretary General

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 9, 2014
Pedro DiasESTIF’s Board of Directors has appointed Pedro Dias to serve as new Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation. The former deputy general follows in the footsteps of Xavier Noyon, who left ESTIF at the end of March. Accordingly, the association has reduced its staff from four to three permanent employees – a result of the persistent sales crisis in the European solar thermal industry and the decrease in the number of ESTIF members. However, the association will soon engage two interns to complement the workforce.
Photo: ESTIF
 

Austria: European Buildings Directive Demands Better Interaction of Building Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 2, 2014
WelsThe coming years will see a sharp increase in the market uptake of highly energy-efficient buildings across Europe: According to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2010/31/EU), all new buildings must be Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings by 2020 - public buildings already by 2018. The European Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Conference, which took place in Wels, Austria, from 27 to 28 February 2014, was dedicated to buildings that fulfil these high efficiency standards and are supplied by renewable energy sources. It was part of the World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED), one of Europe’s largest annual conferences in the field of sustainable energy. The Wels conference had more than 750 participants from 59 countries this year.
Photo: WSED
 

Austria/Europe: General Solar Systems and Sonnenkraft Management Buyout

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 27, 2014
Since 1 January 2014, General Solar Systems (GSS), one of the biggest solar thermal system suppliers in Europe, has had a new owner: Together with Austrian investors, former GSS Financial Director Primus Spitzer took over the company from Danish Solarcap, a subsidiary of VKR Holding. The takeover was announced in a press release on 3 February 2014. GSS with its well-known brand Sonnenkraft is now owned by Austrian company PS Helios headquartered in St Veit, Austria, with Spitzer being the only shareholder. According to the press release, GSS employed nearly 150 staff and achieved a turnover of around EUR 45 million in 2013.
 

“It is a groundbreaking fact that solar thermal is the only technology to be enabled to obtain the A+++ label”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2013

The third annual General Assembly of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) under the presidency of Robin Welling took place in Berlin at the end of November after an invitation by the German solar industry association BSW Solar. In an interview with solarthermalworld.org, Welling describes the future challenges of the sector and analyses the difficult market situation in Europe. The photo shows the Kick-off meeting of new joined working group ESTESC in Berlin on the day before the General Assembly.
Photo: ESTIF

Associations Kick off European Solar Thermal Energy Standardisation & Certification Working Group

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2013

Four major solar and heating associations in Europe jointly kicked off the ESTESC working group in Berlin at the end of November. ESTESC stands for European Solar Thermal Energy Standardisation & Certification. The four associations are the two Brussels-based associations European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) and the Association of the European Heating Industry (EHI), as well as German associations BSW Solar and the Federal Industrial Association of Germany - House, Energy and Environmental Technology, BDH. All members of the four organisations have been invited to become active participants of a number of subgroups within the ESTECS working group. Christian Stadler, Technical Head at Austrian company General Solar Systems, was elected Chair of the ESTESC for the next three years. He started his career in the solar thermal industry in 1991 and worked in leading positions at 4 different collector manufacturers. Since 2008, he has been responsible for product management, development and strategic sourcing at General Solar Systems with its major brand Sonnenkraft.
Photo: General Solar Systems

Global Collector Test Standard Incorporates New Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 24, 2013

The final version of the EN ISO 9806 was approved by the international standard committees CEN/TC 312 and ISO TC180 with more than 90 % of the votes shortly before their meetings in Freiburg, Germany, in the middle of September. This is an important milestone for the solar thermal industry, because it marks the first time that there will be a modern global standard for collector testing procedures which different countries can refer to. In addition, the new standard includes testing methodology for a number of new solar thermal technologies, such as solar air heating collectors, concentrating medium-temperature collectors and PVT collectors. Now, it will only be a matter of weeks until the standard is handed down to the national standardisation secretariats and, over the coming month, distributed through their national publication channels.
Photo: Solarwall

European Energy Label: A+++ for Solar Packages in 2015

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 5, 2013

On 6 September 2013, the official journal of the European Commission published the regulations for the eco-design and energy labelling of water, space and combi heaters under the Ecodesign Directive (2005/32/EC). The documents were also translated into all EU-member states’ languages. Until now, this has been the latest official step after an eight-year political process. It also marks the start of a two-year transition period up to September 2015 when the regulations will come into effect.
Figure: vA Consult

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