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Solar Keymark Network gets new chairman

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 7, 2018
Andreas BohrenThe Solar Keymark Network meeting held in Spain this March saw a new chairman, Andreas Bohren (see photo), leading a reshaped organisation. From now on, the members of the network, also known as SKN, will have a physical meeting in spring and an online one in autumn. Votes can be held in between and in 2019, the former head of the CEN/TC 312 committee, Vassiliki Drosou from Greece, will replace Jan Erik Nielsen from Denmark as the manager of SKN. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Bohren, who works at the Swiss-based SPF – Institute of Solar Technology, to learn more about his objectives.
Photo: Solar Heat Europe

Lessons learned from urban solar projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 25, 2018
Task 51Cities and municipalities are thought to play a decisive role in transforming energy systems. Urban planners, municipal stakeholders and consulting firms need case studies to demonstrate that solar energy can be integrated successfully into new and existing urban neighbourhoods. It is why Solar Energy in Urban Planning, an international research group, has compiled data on 34 showcases in 10 countries for its latest lessons learned report (see link at the end of the news article), created under the aegis of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme.
 

Raising funds on the stock market for large-scale solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 23, 2018
 
Photo: Grenaa VarmevaerkOn 18 June, work on a new solar field for district heating started in the Danish town of Grenaa, on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula. The municipality said the existing 12,000 m2, or 8.4 MWth, system had been running to everyone’s satisfaction since 2014. In May, it inked a deal for another solar field measuring nearly 21,000 m2, or 14.7 MWth, to be delivered by Finnish-based flat plate collector manufacturer Savosolar as a turnkey installation. The aim of the expansion is to use solar thermal energy to meet demand for district heating between May and July, so that the wood chip boilers can be turned off during the same period. 
Photo: Grenaa Varmevaerk

Combining the strengths of collector technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 20, 2018
Task 55 of the IEA SHC Programme is currently studying the benefits of systems equipped with both flat plate and parabolic trough collectors to supply thermal energy to district heating networks. Preliminary results from a project in Taars, Denmark, have been encouraging, indicating how their combined strength can be an asset across a wide range of solar district heating applications. The research is being conducted as part of the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme, supported by the Danish Energy Agency.
Photo: Aalborg CSP

Land secured for Big Solar Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2018
SilkeborgBig Solar Graz has reached a significant milestone by purchasing the land on which to construct a solar field and a seasonal storage system. In mid-June, the project partners told the local press that they had bought 55 hectares in the south of Graz, in the Austrian state of Styria, between the city’s airport and the A9 motorway. A flyer by the region’s public utility, Energie Steiermark, stated that the area was large enough to accommodate a 220,000 m² solar field (154 MWth) and 900,000 m³ of seasonal storage, including three ponds. It has been modelled on the world’s biggest solar district heating plant to date, a 110 MWth installation in the Danish town of Silkeborg (see photo).
Photo: Energie Steiermark

“Racing down the renewable electricity pathway only”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2018
Renewables 2018 Global Status ReportThe Renewables 2018 Global Status Report illustrates the sharp difference in growth between the renewable electricity and heat markets. Whereas PV had another record year, with newly installed capacity totalling at least 98 GWp in 2017, up from 75 GWp, and wind its third-best ever, by adding 52 GW, solar heating and cooling increased by only 35 GWth – a 4 % drop compared to 2016. “Transformation is picking up speed in the electric power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport,” was the key message of a press release published by Paris-based REN21. The report, launched at the beginning of June, has been followed by a series of speeches at events in Manila, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Washington and New York. The press release, translated into 12 languages, has been picked up by media outlets around the globe. 

Rising demand for solar heat in large buildings and industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2018
SHW 1By the end of 2017, the market for solar heating and cooling had grown by 472 GWth, which again made it the largest for solar energy in the world. The one for photovoltaic systems gained 402 GWp to become the second-largest, and 5 GWel was enough for concentrating solar power to rank third, according to the latest Solar Heat Worldwide report. The report also highlights the rising use of megawatt-class solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and residential buildings, as well as factories. It was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC.
Source of all figures: Solar Heat Worldwide

SDH prefeasibility studies in Bosnia and Croatia

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2018
Source: CoolHeatingIn early 2016, EU-funded CoolHeating began using the know-how acquired during best practice projects in Austria, Denmark and Germany to help with the implementation of small modular renewable heating and cooling grids in southeastern Europe. In mid-March, the CoolHeating partners published seven prefeasibility studies of district heating and cooling across five municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Because of geographical features, most projects favoured biomass, but solar thermal does play a crucial role in the proposals created for the Bosnian town of Visoko (see map) and the Croatian city of Ozalj. 
Source: CoolHeating

On-site collector testing: new standard in development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 17, 2018
Photo: Riccardo BattistiOnce a large solar field is set up at its designated location, what tests can be conducted to show that it performs as expected? Soon, the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme may have an answer to this question, as it is working on internationalising Denmark’s testing procedure. No decision has been made on whether the procedure will become part of a full-fledged standard or be turned into a technical specification. 
Photo: Riccardo Battisti

How to identify suitable areas for SDH

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 9, 2018
Chart: Hamburg InstitutThough the availability of areas for large solar district heating plants remains a major point of contention, there are ways to expand the market. They include detailed local heat plans, the use of unconventional, e.g., polluted or contaminated, areas, and awareness raising among public and private stakeholders. A webinar organised as part of the Horizon 2020 project SDHp2m…from Policy to Market put a spotlight on these topics in February. A recording of the session is available online.
Chart: Hamburg Institut
 

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