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German Energy Transformation Scenarios: Solar thermal As Optional, Not Mandatory Technology for Least Cost Solutions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2016
Sebastian HerkelHow much will the transformation of the German energy industry cost if it is to reach greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 80 % by 2050? The German Institute Fraunhofer ISE used its Renewable Energy Model REMod-D for Germany 2050 to perform the simulations necessary to answer this key question. REMod-D considers all kinds of energy end-use applications (in manufacturing, transport and residential segments) and each and every energy technology. Simulations are performed on an hourly basis to ensure the security of supply in all industries throughout the year. The studied scenarios differ with regard to drive concepts used in the private and commercial transport industry, the extent of energy retrofits in the building industry and the exact time at which coal will no longer be used to generate electricity. The most recent REMod-D study, which was published in November 2015, was called “What Will the Energy Transformation Cost? Pathways for Transforming the German Energy System by 2050” (see attached document in German). Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Sebastian Herkel from Fraunhofer ISE about the study’s solar thermal outcomes and the use of REMod-D in urban planning scenarios of Task 52 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
 

27. Symposium Thermische Solarenergie, Bad Staffelstein

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 21, 2016
The 27th Symposium “Solar Thermal Technologie” organized by the Eastbavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI e.V. takes place from 10 to 12 May 2017 at the former German monastery Banz, Bad Staffelstein. Main topics are the latest technical developments but also aspects of economy and market policy. Architects will find a forum to discuss problems and experiences in planning and realization of buildings with solar thermal systems. The Symposium is supplemented by an extensive exhibition with the latest developments in the solar industry. 

Solar thermal experts are invited to submit papers for the Symposium Thermische Solarenergie 2017. The Call for Paper will be open online until 14 October 2016.

All presentations will be performed in German.
 

11th International Renewable Energy Storage (IRES 2017), Dusseldorf

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 21, 2016
Outstanding scientific presentations, exciting discussions, renowned speakers, international (expert) audience and the newest insights into research and developments – with these factors the IRES-conference has established as the leading venue in the international storage world. From 14 till 16 March 2017 the 11th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES 2017) will take place together with the Energy Storage Europe (conference + expo) in Düsseldorf, Germany.
 

Tunisia: Good Hotel and Hospital Investment Opportunities

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 8, 2016
Tunisia StudyA great deal of sunlight, large investment grants and subsidised energy prices: These are the factors determining the profitability of big solar thermal systems in Tunisia, according to the authors of the study Opportunities for solar thermal systems in the tertiary and industrial sectors in Tunisia, a publication by the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, (see attached document in English, the French version is under consultation). Under certain circumstances, a solar thermal system can achieve a double-digit Internal Rate of Return (IRR), for example, if it is installed at LPG-dependent hotels or hospitals on the Tunisian island of Djerba. When solar replaces natural gas in commercial buildings in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, the IRR is still significantly higher than the estimated 4.3 % inflation per year. However, there are difficulties with the economic feasibility of solar process heat applications because not even top reference cases have fulfilled investor expectations. The authors emphasise that the importance Tunisian businesses currently place on payback periods for investing may lead them to overlook valuable projects.
Figure: GIZ study
 

Germany: Thermondo Digitalises Heating Industry Planning and Sales

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2016
Thermondo Management TeamStart-up Thermondo, based in Berlin, Germany, has turned the tables on sales and planning methods for home heating systems. Not only does the company generate its turnover online, it also leaves most of the planning for heating installations to a computer algorithm called “Manfred”. Surprisingly, Philipp Pausder, one of the two managing directors of Thermondo, said that the most important outcome of the new strategy wasn’t low prices but great service. The photo shows Thermondo’s three founding members (from left): Philipp Pausder, Florian Tetzlaff and Kristofer Fichtner.
Photo: Thermondo
 

IEA SHC: Levelised Cost of Heat and the Calculations behind It

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 28, 2016
The main objective of IEA SHC Task 52, Solar Thermal in Energy Supply Systems in Urban Environments, is to call attention to both the technical and economic aspects of solar heating and cooling usage in densely populated urban areas. Urban planners and commercial clients want to know the costs compared to the energy output generated by various solar heating technologies. A method to benchmark different solar heat production systems is Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE). This method is described by the IEA as the “average price that would have to be paid by consumers to repay exactly the investor/operator for the capital, operation and maintenance and fuel expenses, with a rate of return equal to the discount rate”. The chart shows the LCOE for different applications and system sizes in northern / central European climates, taken from the most current Task 52 study Technology and Demonstrators (for further details see table below). The author of the study, Franz Mauthner from Austrian research institute AEE INTEC, contributed to this article, which elaborates on the method and the calculations behind it. 
Chart: Task 52 / Technology and Demonstrators study
 

Austria: Award-Winning Energy Service Company Publishes ESCO Model Fact Sheets

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 26, 2016
Contracting AwardEnergy Service Companies (ESCO) have become pioneers in the development of financing and operating models for various energy sector customers. Every two years, the so-called Contracting Award highlights exemplary ESCO projects in Germany (“Contracting” is the German word for Energy Service Contracts). For the first time since the launch of the awards in 1997, the jury members from the magazine Energy & Management and the German Heat & Power Association, AGFW, presented one of these awards to a solar thermal ESCO. On 16 April, Christian Holter (third from left), Managing Director of Austrian turnkey system supplier S.O.L.I.D., was presented with the second prize for its solar energy supply contract with a district heating company in the Austrian city of Graz. The company published Tech Sheets and Fact Sheets about ESCO models as part of the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling programme’s Task 45, Large Scale Solar Heating and Cooling Systems (see the attached documents).
 

Germany: Construction Starts on 2,230 m2 Solar Field in Chemnitz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 19, 2016
On 11 May, construction work started on a new 2,230 m2 ground-mounted collector array (2,090 m2 of aperture area) in the city of Chemnitz. The project is said to be completed within about a month, and the plant is scheduled to come into operation a few weeks later. The collector field is expected to supply almost 5 % of the heat provided by the new district heating grid for the Brühl housing development near the city centre. 
Photo: inetz
 

IEA SHC Programme Scales up its International Research Network

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 18, 2016
The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) broadens its sponsor network. The most recent members are the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), headquartered in Germany, and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) based in Qatar. ISES joined as a Sponsor in 2016 and GORD already in 2015. “We welcome the engagement of ISES and GORD in the IEA SHC Programme,“ says Ken Guthrie, Chairman of IEA SHC. “ISES represents an extensive network of solar thermal professionals from around the world and GORD opens the doors to the Gulf States – potential future markets for solar cooling“. 
 

Germany: Symposium Debates Renewable Heating Market Ups and Downs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 4, 2016
Otti SymposiumDuring the first quarter of 2016, solar thermal suppliers in Germany sold around 3 % more systems than they did over the same period last year. This is indeed good news after 2015 turned out to be another disappointing year with a 10 % drop in sales, adding only 805,000 m² (563 MWth) of newly installed collector area. The other good news is that subsidies in Germany have never been as attractive as they are now. It is the reason why the two German solar and heating associations, BSW Solar and BDH, launched the Solar Heating – it always pays off (Sonnige Heizung - immer im Plus) campaign, as announced in a press release in the middle of April – at the same time that the Solar Thermal Energy Symposium took place in Bad Staffelstein. The symposium is Germany’s major annual industry conference on the topic and is organised by the East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI. This year, the three-day conference was attended by around 250 solar thermal experts from research and industry.
Photo: OTTI / Dr Thomas Vorderwülbecke
 

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