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Italy: Conference Highlights Installers’ Key Qualification Issues

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 15, 2012

Held in Rome in September 2012, the conference “Qualification and Certification of Skills for Those Working in the Energy Sector” was the ideal platform to outline and debate which qualifications and certifications are necessary for installers of small-scale renewable energy systems, including solar thermal. The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, ENEA, had organised the conference because time is running out: the implementation date is the 31 December of this year. By this date, the Italian regions must have launched “a training programme for installers of renewable energy systems” in accordance with Italian law no. 28, which was approved on 3 March 2011. Some sector players, however, have their doubts about whether the regions will be ready by then.

Europe: 3,000 m² Collector Area at Three STACCATO Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 12, 2012

What do the European capitals Amsterdam, Budapest and Sofia have in common? Not much, except that they have all been participating in the STACCATO project since November 2007. The project is a sub-programme of the European Commission’s CONCERTO initiative to promote energy efficiency and renewable energies. The STACCATO retrofit projects in Sofia-Oborishte (see photo), Amsterdam-Noord and Budapest-Óbuda are to achieve four specified goals: reduce energy consumption by more than half, integrate renewable - mainly solar thermal - energy on a large scale, make district heating compatible with modern energy systems and, last but not least, build up capacity for follow-up projects. Until now, the three STACCATO demonstration sites have seen the installation of about 3,000 m² of solar collector area.
Photo: Frank Stier

Europe/Asia: Solar Cooling Gains Traction

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 3, 2012

Large Japanese and Chinese companies have recently taken a greater interest in solar cooling. The photo shows an installation by Chinese company Jiangsu Huineng New Energy Technology (Huin), which started supplying solar cooling systems this year. New system kits help drive down costs, although investments in sorption chillers are still higher than for compression chillers. After the Intersolar Europe conference in Munich, Germany, and its dedicated solar cooling session, Uli Jakob, Vice President of the German sorption chiller association Green Chiller, noted: “Solar cooling was one of the highlights of the conference.”
Photo: Huin

Solar Process Heat: “Higher Yield than in Domestic Applications”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 17, 2012

Solar heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) has a large potential and is an important, upcoming market for solar thermal – this was the conclusion which Christoph Lauterbach, Research Associate at the German University of Kassel, drew in his presentation at the Intersolar Europe 2012 in Munich. In the case of Germany, Lauterbach identified a potential of 16 TWh/a. This is 3.4% of the country’s total energy consumption and corresponds to 36 million m² of collector area. According to Lauterbach, the overall potential for the 25 EU members amounts to 70 TWh/a – approximately four times as much.
Photo: www.solar-process-heat.eu

New Government in Serbia – New Hope for Solar Thermal Energy?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 8, 2012

At the end of July, Serbia elected a new government led by socialist Prime Minister Ivica Dačić. He promised to follow through with the integration of the country into the European Union. This means for the new Minister of Energy, Zorana Mihajlović, that she has to harmonise Serbian energy policies with the targets of the EU Acquis Communautaire and adopt European directives on the promotion of renewable energies - such as solar thermal energy. “A law on the efficient use of energy has already been written, but not been adopted yet,” Selena Pješivac, Advisor Communications and Public Relations at the Serbian Energy Efficiency Agency (SEEA), says. This law would lay the foundation for an energy efficiency fund, a fund which could also subsidise solar thermal installations. The photo shows the solar thermal installation on the roof of the Olympic Games swimming pool in Belgrade.
Photo: Tisun

Market Statistics: Three Studies Analyse Solar Thermal Market Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 18, 2012

 logos of solar thermal market research institutions” There are signs that the strong decline of the European solar thermal market reported over the last two years came to a halt in 2011 – at least according to three market reports published in June 2012.

Brazil: Quality Labelling Inmetro Soon Mandatory

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 5, 2012

Brazilian Labeling Programme PBE – so far a voluntary label - will become mandatory within the next two years. After the transition period of 24 months, all of the around 150 manufacturers of solar collectors and tanks must adhere to the requirements of the new Technical Requirements on Quality (RTQ). PBE announced the mandatory regulation in June 2012. Its aim is improve the quality of products in the Brazilian market. Any collector or tank that is to be sold in Brazil first has to be certified by the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO).

European Solar Days Expect more than Half a Million Participants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 4, 2012

 European Solar Days Grassroots campaign drums up enthusiasm for clean energy: From Tuesday, 1 May, to Sunday, 13 May, hundreds of thousands of European citizens are gathering at locations all across the continent to show their interest in solar energy during the European Solar Days (ESD). At hundreds of events, the ESD will demonstrate to audiences, such as policy makers and companies - but particularly to individual citizens - the benefits of using solar energy to generate heat and electricity. The nearly two-week campaign includes showcasing solar thermal and solar PV technologies, trainings for company staff, doors open days, street events for children, balloon release and many more.
Photo: Fotostudio Pflueg

Europe: Heineken Brewery to Install Three Big Solar Plants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 18, 2012

 Heinecken brewery The famous beer brand Heineken has just placed an order for three big solar thermal plants that will produce the heat required for the brewery’s industrial processes at different company sites. Two of these systems will be installed at breweries – one in Valencia, Spain, and one in Göß, Austria - and one will be set up at a malting plant in Vialonga, Portugal. The photo shows beer bottles on their way into the tunnel pasteuriser at the Valencia brewery.
Photo: AEE INTEC

Europe: SDHplus Gathers Experts and Newcomers to Solar District Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 5, 2012

 SDH Logo Just after the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) project SDHtake-off will have ended in June 2012, there will be a follow-up project called SDHplus. Six new countries will join it: Spain, France, Lithuania, Croatia, Poland and Slovenia. Experienced partners from the former SDHtake-off project will help them promote solar district heating by launching awareness-raising campaigns and assessing the potential of their heat supply network. SDHplus comes with a budget of EUR 1.8 million from the IEE fund and will run over three years.

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