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IEA SHC Task 52: Seeking Cost-optimised Urban Energy Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 30, 2015
How can solar energy be ideally integrated into an urban energy system? This has been the key question of IEA SHC Task 52: Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments. One and a half years after the task´s start in January 2014, scientists from Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland met in Freiburg for the third task meeting in mid-April to discuss cost assessments of existing plants and models for analysing complex urban energy systems. One of the first published outcomes is a study carried out by Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. It lists the costs of existing solar district heating plants in Denmark, Germany and Austria. The chart shows the preliminary results from levelised heat costs calculated for 29 collector fields of sizes between 500 and 55,000 m² integrated into district or micro grids.
Source: AEE INTEC
 

Germany: Crowd Lending or Cooperatives – Different Ways to Bring Solar District Heating into Focus

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 24, 2015
Trier SolarvereinRenewable heat comes out on top whenever it substituted fossil energy, Swiss solar thermal pioneer Josef Jenni stated during the first panel discussion of the conference on district heating with solar and biomass, which was held in the German city of Trier on 16 and 17 April 2015. Organised by the local solar association, Solarverein, it provided a platform for experts from small and medium-sized industrial companies, universities and research institutes based in Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Austria and Luxemburg to work on turning this objective into a reality by focusing on viable business models of renewable use in district heating systems. 
Photo: Vanessa Kriele
 

4. Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz 2015, Lucerne

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 8, 2015
The 4th Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz will take place on 30th of October in Lucerne, Switzerland. All presentations will be performed in German.
 

Austria: Task 42 Meeting on Compact Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 3, 2015
Task 42 MeetingIEA-SHC Task 42, entitled Compact Thermal Energy Storage, has entered into its final year and will end in December 2015. In February 2015, 44 scientists met for the 13th Experts Task Meeting in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the characterisation and development of materials for latent heat storage systems. This included phase change materials (PCM) like paraffin and thermo-chemical materials (TCM), such as sodium hydroxide solutions or zeolites. During the three-day meeting, the task members also visited the cogeneration plant Simmering in Vienna. The photo shows them in front of two pressurised water tanks with a total volume of 11,000 m3. The tanks are charged and discharged with 145 GWh annually and are operated to decouple heat energy production from demand in the district heating network of Vienna.
Photo: Institute for Solar Technology SPF 
 

Poland: Swiss Contribution Ups Solar Thermal Funding

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 28, 2015
Poland HospitalThe binational cooperation between Switzerland and Poland to support solar thermal technology has reached the halfway mark: According to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), there were around 30,000 m² of solar water heaters installed between 2012 and 2014. Until the end of the implementation process in December 2016, this number should rise to at least 103,000 m2 for an estimated 20,000 private households and 195 public institutions. The photo shows a solar thermal collector field at a public hospital in Poland. 
Photo: SECO
 

Switzerland: New Buildings to Reach Nearly Zero Energy Standard by 2020

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 24, 2015
Swissolar TrogenOn 9 January 2015, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors agreed on nationwide model rules for building energy codes. These rules include a nearly zero energy standard for new buildings from 2020 onwards and a 10 % renewable requirement for heating system retrofits. Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, the country’s energy standards are similar to what the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) requires from member states. 
Photo: Swissolar
 

Switzerland: Solar Thermal Systems Cost Almost Twice as Much as in Austria

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 20, 2014
Swiss System PricesThe Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has just published a study on end customer prices for solar thermal systems in Switzerland. It turns out that, including installation, a typical Swiss solar thermal system configuration for a single-family home costs almost twice as much in Switzerland as they would in neighbouring Austria and about 30 % more than in southern Germany (see chart on the left). High labour costs and quality standards account for much of the price difference, but they cannot explain all of it. The study, which was carried out by Swiss company Ernst Basler + Partner, includes measures that can be taken to reduce prices on the market (see the attached document in German).
Figure: Swiss Federal Office of Energy
 

Solar Energy complements Building Architecture (2014)

Submitted by Pam Murphy on December 5, 2014

A free IEA SHC online database of 50 projects from 11 countries highlights how active and passive solar can decrease energy demand and enhance a building's architectural quality 

Author: Maria Wall

Switzerland: Parabolic Trough Collectors Produce Heat for Dairy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 22, 2014
LESAewz’s latest solar project as an energy service company (ESCO) is the solar plant at dairy company Lataria Engiadinaisa SA (LESA), which is located at an altitude of 1,700 m in the Swiss Alps. With its 115 m² of parabolic trough collectors by NEP Solar, the solar plant heats thermo-oil up to a temperature of 180 °C in order to provide heat for steam production. The investment of Swiss Franc (CHF) 500,000 was jointly financed by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and ewz. The heat is sold to LESA at the same full cost as steam production by the dairy´s installed oil boiler. The project won the Swiss Solar Prize in 2012. 
Photo: ewz
 

3. Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz, Lucerne

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 11, 2014
The 3rd Tagung Solarwärme Schweiz will take place on 12th of November in Lucerne, Switzerland. The conference programme is available now. All presentations will be performed in German.
 

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