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Sonnenkraft, Holter and Tisun – the changing face of Austria’s industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 26, 2018
Photo: Thomas PirkerTwo strategic decisions taken by Austrian-based supplier Sonnenkraft in early 2018 have strengthened its position on the market. First, it secured an exclusive national distribution agreement with Holter, an Austrian wholesaler of heating equipment. Installers of Sonnenkraft equipment can now order products and systems on digital sales portal Holter online as opposed to getting them directly from the company. Second, on 4 December 2017, the supplier acquired the remaining 49 % stake in Austrian collector manufacturer Tisun, a competitor from which it had already purchased 51 % of the shares in May 2017. On 5 February 2018, the new owner asked for Tisun to be put into administration and an insolvency practitioner is now leading the restructuring effort. 
Photo: Thomas Pirker

Solar to replace coal in Polish district heating networks

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 7, 2018
NFOŚiGWZbigniew Kamieński, adviser to the president of NFOŚiGW’s board, has recently made some encouraging statements. During the conference Use of renewable energy sources and seasonal heat storage in district heating in Warsaw on 17 January, he said that the proposal of a new subsidy programme for renewable district heating deserved attention and implementation. The conference with nearly 130 attendees was organised jointly by NFOŚiGW, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, and IEO, the Institute for Renewable Energy, and was supported by the SDHp2m project
All three photos: NFOŚiGW 

District heating shows lower total socio-economic cost in future energy system

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 31, 2018
Costs for ST 1What would the economic impact on a future energy system be if one were to unlock the full solar thermal potential in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy? According to a study conducted by Aalborg University as part of the IEA SHC Task 52 research project Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments, exploiting the maximum potential will result in significant cost reductions if solar heat is supplied not individually but by district heating. The graph shows small changes of between -0.1 % and +0.2 % in total socio-economic cost both in the District Heating scenario (expansion of district heating grids) and the Heat Savings one (retrofits reduce heat demand in buildings) when the maximum solar thermal potential is realised by using either decentralised solutions or district heating to supply heat to consumers. The key factor influencing the outcome is the cost of solar thermal systems. 
Graph: Aalborg University

Three ways to read European market statistics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2018
Solar Heat EuropeThere is more than one way to read 2016’s market statistics published by Solar Heat Europe about 2 months ago. One could emphasise the great achievements made in reducing emissions and creating jobs in the solar heating and cooling sector in Europe. One could likewise point to Denmark as a leader in solar district heating. A third possibility would be to concentrate on the continued decline in most key markets in Europe and the stark difference between renewable heating targets and their fulfilment in many countries. You can download the 5-page brochure here.

Global certification saves money and time

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 18, 2018
To enter new markets, solar thermal collector manufacturers need to have their products tested and certified as meeting local standards. Thanks to GSCN, the Global Solar Certification Network, they can complete several certification processes with only one test cycle. “A collector manufacturer can save a lot of time and money because its collector test report from one region will be accepted to receive a certificate in another region,” GSCN Manager Jan Erik Nielsen from Denmark said in an interview with 

Solar heat in Vietnam, the new workshop of the world

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 4, 2018
PrimeAsia Leather CompanyA 5,000 m² flat plate collector field is currently being built at PrimeAsia Leather in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam. The turnkey supplier of the installation is Danish-based Arcon-Sunmark, which has its own flat plate collector production facilities in this South East Asian country. According to a press release published at the beginning of last November, the solar plant is scheduled to come online in early 2018. The solar heat is said to be used for preparing the animal skins and evaporating the factory’s waste water.
Photo: PrimeAsia Leather Company

Project partners guarantee SDH yield

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 21, 2017
ADEME15 December saw the inauguration of the first installation supported by the subsidy scheme for large-scale solar thermal projects in France. The 2,340 m² collector field by German manufacturer KBB Kollektorbau has since been feeding into a biomass district heating network of Châteaubriant, a town in western France. Altogether, the subsidy scheme’s administrator, French energy agency Ademe, approved six solar thermal projects during the first tender invitation called Appel à Projets National Grandes Installations Solaires Thermiques. The second one in November 2017 led to the submission and approval of a 14,000 m² solar process heat project, which is currently in planning. The programme inviting large-scale solar thermal tenders started in 2015 (see the database of incentive programmes for more information). There are two new submission deadlines planned for March and November 2018.
Photo: Ademe

Australia: Think Big, Think Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 1, 2017
GreenlandIn Australia, the deployment of large commercial solar thermal plants is picking up speed. This year, Monash University had a solar field of 0.5 MW put into operation and aims to expand it to 1 MW. The solar heat that is fed into the district heating system of the large campus area in Clayton, a suburb of Melbourne, is said to meet the entire heat demand in summer. The field consists of vacuum tube collectors by Australian manufacturer Greenland Systems (see photo) and was designed and installed by the LCI engineering consultancy from Melbourne. Currently, Danish Aalborg CSP is in dialogue with Perth-based Agrimin about the supply of solar process heat to a planned sulphate of potash (SOP) mine and processing factory in the state of Western Australia.
Photo: Greenland

SHC 2017: Largest experts’ meeting on integrated solar heating and cooling

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 8, 2017
SHC2017_1500 experts from more than 50 countries attended the 5th International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 30 October to 2 November 2017. It was the first time that this biennial conference by the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme had been organised jointly with the Solar World Congress by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). The new partnership resulted in 2017’s largest experts’ meeting on integrated SHC solutions for buildings, industry, cities, regions and utilities, and in over 300 presentations.
Photo: Masdar Institute at Khalifa University of Science and Technology

Slovenia: On the Path to Renewable District Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 2, 2017
Rok SunkoDistrict heating networks supplied by renewable energy sources (RES) are widely recognised today as one of the most effective ways to decarbonise the heating sector. The EU’s CoolHeating project has been supporting the implementation of small, modular renewable heating and cooling grids for towns in southeastern Europe by transferring knowledge from leading countries such as Austria, Denmark and Germany to newcomers, for example, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. It has also led to the publication of a handbook – Small modular renewable heating and cooling grids – available in seven languages (see the attached PDFs). talked to Rok Sunko (see photo) from one of the project partners, Skupina Fabrika about current developments and the outlook of RES district heating in Slovenia. The company is a Slovenian-based R&D business focusing on renewables, IT solutions and branding.
Photo: Skupina Fabrika


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