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MENA/Chile: Concentrating Solar Benchmark Costs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2017
SunShotA tender for 94.5 USD/MWhel in Dubai and an R&D initiative called SunShot in the United States have shown how the cost of concentrated solar power (CSP) could be lowered at a steady pace thanks to economies of scale and optimised manufacturing and operation. Though the solar power market has been the driver for most of these developments, their outcomes are likewise relevant to solar thermal, where concentrating technologies have been used to provide heating or cooling for industrial processes. Two recent webinars organised by Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights and focused on CSP in the MENA region and Chile had developers and researchers discuss the main drivers for cost cutting and the technology outlook in the short and medium term. The chart illustrates the SunShot aim to bring down the cost of parabolic trough collectors from around 200 USD/m² to 75 USD/m².
Source: Department of Energy, USA
 

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
 

UAE: Green Buildings Certification and Impact on Solar Technology Deployment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 1, 2015
Green Building RatingThe countries in the Gulf region have taken the path of mandatory green building certifications instead of solar building obligations, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leading the ranking on the highest number of green buildings: 823 of an overall 1,281 green premises in the Gulf nations are located in the UAE. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman follow far behind. The ranking is based on information from online database www.usgbc.org/projects, which includes 80,917 premises certified according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed in the USA. The global database is managed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and shows that the other Gulf countries – e.g., Bahrain, Yemen and Kuwait – only have 15 buildings altogether. The country with the largest share of highly ranked buildings with Silver, Gold or Platinum is Saudi Arabia, where green headquarters seem to provide a great PR boost for companies and institutions. 
Source: USGBC
 

IEA SHC: Attractive Solar Process Heat Markets

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 28, 2015
fastest growing segmentWhich countries are currently attractive markets for solar process heat? Different sources give different answers to this question. The chart above shows the assessment of the solar industry. More than 30 % of the Austrian solar collector manufacturers in the two surveys in 2012 and 2013 assumed that solar process heat was the fastest-growing segment in their national market. More than every tenth manufacturer in Germany, Mexico and France shared their opinion. The figure in brackets behind the country stands for the number of surveys analysed. Some of the countries, such as Germany, India, Mexico and France, have a support scheme in place which focuses on solar process heat systems. 
Chart: solrico
 

Thermal Desalination Driven by an Innovative Salinity Gradient Solar Pond Located in the Coastal Waters of Open Seas (2015)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on April 10, 2015

This presentation, prepared by Dr. Ir. Ing. Dick G. Klaren of Klaren International, proposes the use of a salinity gradient solar pond (SGSP) in coastal waters as renewable energy source for thermal desalination. The document was presented at the CWC Technical Seminars featured at the Saudi Water & Power Forum (SWPF), held between 12 and 14 January in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Jordan: “The solar bylaw is not going to have a strong impact on the market”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 6, 2015
Millennium Solar EnergySince April 2013, Jordan has had a solar bylaw in place. The rules of the bylaw were stipulated in Article 10 of Law No. 73, which had already entered into force in 2012. Solar water heaters are a mandatory requirement for every new multi-family building with more than 150 m² of living space, for every new office building exceeding 100 m² of floor space, as well as each new public building with more than 250 m². There are, however, no additional regulations regarding quality standards or system sizes. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Angelika Cerny, International Sales Coordinator at Jordan-based solar thermal turnkey-solution provider Millennium Energy Industries (MEI), about the effectiveness of the bylaw and the market development in Jordan. The photo shows an 80 m2 vacuum tube collector field which was set up in 2013 as a pergola for the office building of Jordan company EDGO Ventures in Amman. 
Photo: Millennium Solar Energy
 

Germany/Saudi Arabia: Fraunhofer ISE and KA CARE Sign Collaboration Framework Agreement

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 28, 2014
King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, KA CARE, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Fraunhofer ISE, based in Freiburg, Germany, have jointly announced the signing of a Collaboration Framework Agreement, which will serve as a basis for various collaborations between the two organisations over the next years. According to a press release by Fraunhofer ISE, the joint projects will include renewable energy research and development, as well as testing and training. The photo shows Dr Mahar Alodan, KA CARE, (left) and Prof Dr Eicke R Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE, during the signing ceremony, which took place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, at the World Future Energy Summit’s German Pavilion on 20 January 2014. 
Photo: Fraunhofer ISE

Germany: New Industry Association Includes Concentrating Solar Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 23, 2013
In September 2013, a group of German companies specialised in concentrating solar power (CSP) formally established the industry association Deutsche CSP. The group has had 38 members, 31 of which joined the association as well. In early summer 2013 already, the group had welcomed new member companies from the field of concentrating solar process heat, which also joined the association later - among them, Protarget from Cologne. Therefore, Deutsche CSP, the German Industry Association for Concentrated Solar Power, is now establishing a work group for solar process heat. 

Chile: President Inaugurates Solar Field with 27.5 MWth

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 13, 2013

In the middle of October, Chile´s President Sebastián Piñera inaugurated the currently world´s largest solar thermal field with 27.5 MWth (39,300 m² of collector area). The system supplies heat to the Gaby copper mine of state-owned mining company Codelco. It is located in the high central desert, 100 km south of the town of Calama, in a region where it hardly ever rains. The mining installation’s size surpasses the 36,000 m² plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was finished at the end of 2011. “The solar field will replace underground fuel sources which pollute the environment and are expensive compared to a source that is abundant, clean and guaranteed,” Piñera said at the inauguration according to an article in the Latin American Herald Tribune from 15 October 2013. Codelco profited from fixed energy prices, so the company could plan ahead without having to worry about market fluctuations, the president added.
Photo: CNN

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