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“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, 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

Global Trends in Solar Heat Worldwide 2011 Study

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 17, 2013

The Solar Heat Worldwide 2011 report from May 2013 again gathers the latest market figures from 56 countries around the globe, covering 95 % of the world’s solar thermal market, according to the authors from Austrian company AEE Intec. In 2011, installers set up a total capacity of 48.1 GWth - corresponding to 68.7 million m2 of glazed and unglazed solar collectors - in these 56 countries. Solar thermal installations increased by 14.3% compared to 2010. The breakdown by collector type in 2011 is 14.7% glazed flat plate collectors, 81.9 % evacuated tube collectors, 3.2 % unglazed water collectors and 0.2 % air collectors. The chart shows the growth rate of the newly installed flat plate and vacuum tube collector capacity in the major markets in 2010/2011.
Figure: Solar Heat Worldwide

European Solar Days 2014

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 8, 2013

The next European Solar Days will be celebrated from 1 to 18 May 2014 in several European countries. The campaign raises public awareness and involves several hundred thousand citizens at local level. Pioneer countries such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, as well as others that successfully embraced this initiative like France, Italy and Spain, are only too keen to share their experience and help spread the word. From 1 to 19 May 2013 over 6000 events were organized in 20 countries, attracting over half a million people.

Solar Process Heat: European Commission Advocates More Research

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 2, 2013

In March, almost 40 scientists, engineers and solar process heat specialists met for the 1st workshop of the European InSun project, called "Exchange of experience made with the design and installation of solar process heat systems", which was hosted at the Institute for Solar Technology SPF in Rapperswil, Switzerland. The workshop focused on the experiences with the planning and installation of roof- or ground-mounted solar process heat systems - lead times, project schedule, as well as standards, guidelines and regulations in the different European countries. The photo shows a process heat project in Italy with 1.3 MW Fresnel collectors for the brick industry.
Photo: Soltigua

Re-energising Europe. Putting the EU on Track for 100% Renewable Energy (2013)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on February 14, 2013

This report, published by the NGO WWF Europe, looks at Europe’s energy consumption by 2030. If the right policy measures are put in place, by 2030 the European Union could:

European Union Sustainable Energy Week, Europe

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 26, 2013

The next edition of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will take place from 24 to 28 June 2013. Dates and procedures for organising an Energy Day in 2013 will be provided shortly on the event’s website.


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