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Switzerland

5. Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz 2016, Luzern

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 21, 2016
The 5th Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz will take place on 24 November in Lucerne, Switzerland. All presentations will be performed in German.
 

IEA SHC TASK 51: “Integrate Energy Perspectives into Spatial Planning of Urban Areas”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2016
Task 51 Ida BrogrenDuring COP21 in Paris last December, 1,000 mayors and local leaders pledged themselves to a 100 % renewable future of their municipalities by 2050. The final declaration from 4 December 2015 reads (see the attached document): “We support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100 % renewable energy in our communities, or an 80 % greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050.” This crucial political statement gives new impetus to the international research task Solar Energy in Urban Planning (Task 51), which is part of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The main objective of the task headed by Maria Wall, Swedish professor at the Energy and Building Design department of Lund University, is to provide urban planners, authorities and architects with the means of designing urban areas that will enable the integration of active and passive solar energy solutions which can cover a large share of the energy demand. The researchers organised two workshops in Stockholm in March to discuss with representatives from public bodies how to deal with the challenges of interdisciplinary planning processes when trying to retain the aesthetic quality of buildings of cultural and historic significance.
Illustration: Ida Brogren, courtesy of Borås Municipality
 

Big Ups and Downs on Global Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 26, 2016
The global solar thermal market went into another year of notable decline in 2015. With 37.2 GWth, the newly installed glazed and unglazed collector capacity in the 18 largest countries was 14 % lower than in 2014 (43.4 GWth). Between 2013 and 2014, the decrease in these 18 major countries – which represent 95-97 % of the world market – had been 15 %. The further slowdown last year was the result of diminishing collector area figures in China (-17 %), and in Europe (nine biggest nations down by -5 %). The countries with the highest growth rates last year were Denmark (+55 %), Turkey (+10 %), Israel (+9 %) and Mexico (+8 %). The chart shows both 2015’s newly installed collector area, broken down by collector type – flat plate, vacuum tube and unglazed collector area, and the 2014-2015 growth rate (excluding China, whose 2015 market volume was 21-times larger than Turkey, which ranked second). China added 30.5 GWth in 2015 of which 12.6 % were flat plate collectors (5.5 million m2). 
Figures: solrico, data: see bottom of the article

IEA SHC: Task 56 Kick-Off Meeting on Building Integrated Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 30, 2016
Norway AventaAlmost 30 experts from 25 partner organisations met in Bolzano, Italy, on 21 and 22 March for the kick-off meeting of IEA SHC Task 56, Building Integrated Solar Envelope Systems for HVAC and Lighting. The overall goal of the task is to find out “why some ways of solar integration do work, while others don’t,” as the Task Operating Agent and Coordinator of the Sustainable Heating and Cooling Systems research team at Italian institute EURAC, Roberto Fedrizzi, put it – and, of course, to find measures to improve solar technology integration into façades and roofs. The photo shows a residential home in Stavern, southern Norway, where 7 m2 of solar collectors have been integrated into window frames in the south-facing facade, contributing to both domestic hot water preparation and space heating.
Photo: Aventa

Saudi Arabia: “Cheap might still be too expensive”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 19, 2016
Saudi Arabia Solar Cooling AramcoWith a solar radiation of up to 2,550 kWh/m², Saudi Arabia seems destined to be a frequent user of solar thermal energy. Solar heating and cooling, however, are not very common in the Kingdom. A new housing programme launched by the government is now adding solar water heating to the list of eligible technologies, albeit companies selling to Saudi Arabia have so far only reported a small number of prestigious projects. The photo shows a solar cooling demonstration plant at the headquarters of the kingdom’s oil company, Aramco, in Dhahran. The system, which came into operation in November 2014, offers high-vacuum flat MT-Power panels by Swiss manufacturer TVP Solar and runs a double-effect absorption chiller with 180 °C to produce cold air for Saudi Aramco's Al-Munirah Community Library. Still, solar thermal energy seems to remain a niche market in the eyes of the government, which has just published a new energy strategy for the coming years – the policy document primarily mentions PV, CSP and nuclear energy to offset the rising domestic consumption of the nation’s main export commodity: oil. 
Photo: TVP Solar
 

Costa Rica: Rising Energy Prices to Benefit Solar Water Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 25, 2015
Swissol Costa RicaCosta Ricans currently spend up to 40 % of their electricity bill on hot water supply. With an average annual increase of 5.3 %, the demand for electricity has quadrupled over the last 20 years and prices have more than doubled during the same period. Therefore, one should assume solar water heaters to be popular in a country where solar irradiation is as high as 2,100 W per m² and year. Unfortunately, the Costa Rican Statistical Office does not provide any figures on the total collector area installed across the country. 
Photo: Swissol
 

Switzerland: Shift towards Multi-Family Housing Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 21, 2015
Market development SwitzerlandIn June, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy published its annual solar market report carried out by the solar energy association Swissolar (see the attached document in German and French). In 2014, sales of glazed collectors dropped by 7 %, down to 113,000 m² of absorber area. Vacuum tube collectors had a share of 13 %. The statistics also include 4,487 m² of unglazed collectors. The chart shows the shares of the different collector technologies over the years.
Source: Swissolar
 

Workshop Solar Energy and Heat Pumps, Rapperswil

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 10, 2015
The all-day workshop on the topic "Solar energy and heat pumps” organised by the Institut für Solartechnik SPF will take place at the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil on 18 November 2015. Various speakers from research and practice will present  results and analysis of heat pump systems in combination with solar thermal, photovoltaic, or PVT. In open discussions current developments can be discussed. with one exception the presentations will be held in German. Participation is free, but registration is required.
 

Germany: Solar + Heat Pump + Ice Storage Achieves Seasonal Performance Factor of 5.6

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2015
Ice storage ConsalarGerman company Consolar offers a heating system called SOLAERA, which combines a heat pump with a specially designed solar collector and a heat storage space using the latent heat released when water freezes to ice (see photo). The solar heat pump system with 18 m² of collector area, a 300 litre ice storage space and a 1,000 litre buffer tank provides enough energy to heat a well-insulated building in Germany. In a field test by a local environment group, Lokale Agenda 21, it achieved a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 5.6, putting performance even above prior simulations. The SPF describes the ratio of delivered heat to electricity consumed over the entire year. Consolar sold about 160 solar heat pump systems in total, mostly in Germany but also in Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy. The systems there achieved SPFs between 3.5 and 6, depending on collector field size, maximum flow temperature and heat demand.
Photo: Consolar
 

Solar Days 2015: Individual Schedules in Eight Countries

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2015
LuftballonsThe European Solar Days (ESD) seem to have lost some momentum. Since the European Union stopped co-financing the ESD, it seems that several national partners among the so far more than 20 participating countries have found it harder to get monetary support for their work and all of the activities required for coordinating the Solar Days campaign at national level. Still, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has been able to agree with several previously participating countries on a common schedule from 1 to 15 May. Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Poland and Serbia have already told ESTIF about their activities in May (see the table below). Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia and Spain, however, will not offer any solar days this year. The photo shows an event in an primary school in Switzerland
Photo: Scuola Elementare Canobbio
 

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