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California gets 850 MW solar steam plant for enhanced oil recovery

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 18, 2017
MiraahWhile Miraah in Oman (see photo) has only recently begun its solar steam production, US-based Glasspoint has already announced plans to construct another solar plant for enhanced oil recovery. Together with Aera Energy, the company intends to build an 850 MW solar steam-producing plant at the Belridge oilfields just outside Bakersfield, north of Los Angeles, California. In combination with a 26.5 MW PV system, solar energy is expected to save 4.87 billion ft³ of natural gas annually. A Glasspoint press release sent out on 30 November said that construction should start in the first half of 2019 and steam was planned to be produced by the system at the beginning of 2020. 
Photo: Glasspoint 
 

USA: Concentrated Solar Thermal for Biosolid Drying

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 9, 2017
RackamSince the summer, two parabolic trough collectors have been drying sludge at a waste water treatment plant in Surprise in the state of Arizona, USA. The test project was developed by US-based Heat2Hydro to evaluate the effectiveness of this solution. The objective is to reduce the water content of the sludge and make it easier to transport. The municipality aims at expanding solar drying capacity to 5 MW thermal in about two years.
Photo: Heat2Hydro/Rackam
 

IEA´s Renewables Outlook 2017-2022

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 31, 2017
IEA Renewables 2017 forecastThe IEA’s Renewables 2017 market report was launched in London in early October. The document, which had been called Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report until last year, is published annually and forecasts market development in renewable electricity over the next five years (2017 to 2022). Considering that renewable markets are closely linked and politicians are increasingly looking for cross-sector solutions, we have compiled the IEA’s most important conclusions regarding renewable electricity in this news article. A lack of data on renewable heating and cooling (RHC) means that the IEA does not provide a separate RHC forecast, but instead uses the World Energy Model results published in the annual World Energy Outlook.
Source: Renewables 2017
 

Solar Power International 2018, Anaheim

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 20, 2017
Solar Power International (SPI) is a large solar conference and expo. In 2017 SPI attracted over 18,000 attendees from more than 85 countries. The 2018 event will take place from 24 to 27 September in Anaheim, California. The Conference and expo cover the topics PV, CSP, solar hot water, solar heating and cooling and solar pool heating.
 

CSI – Thermal Program in California: performance-based Incentives decreasing over the Years

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 20, 2017
The eight-year programme in California has a budget of USD 351 million and was originally thought to finish in December 2017 if budgets would not be exhausted beforehand. In May 2017 the California state assembly approved the extension of rebates for gas-replacing solar thermal systems under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Solar Thermal by 2.5 years until 31 July 2020. This new deadline is now approved in an adaptation of the bill AB797.  
 
Effective Date: 
Monday, May 1, 2017

Intersolar North America 2018, San Francisco

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 11, 2017
Intersolar North America 2018 will take place from 10 to 12 July at the Mocone Center, San Francisco. Exhibition and conference promote the development of business opportunities throughout the U.S. solar industry. The 2017 exhibition and conference attracted more than 15,000 visitors from over 87 countries to comprehensive workshops and presentations, as well as product showcases from more than 500 exhibitors.

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
 

USA: Solar Steam Installation for California’s Pistachio Harvest

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 10, 2017
SunvaporCalifornian start-up Sunvapor has found its first solar steam customer for a demonstration system with the Green Parabolic Trough Collector technology developed in-house. In April 2017, it announced that it had gone into partnership with Horizon Nut to install a 50-kW solar process heat installation at the latter’s pistachio processing facility in Firebaugh. Sunvapor’s CEO and founder Philip Gleckman confirmed that the system is scheduled to come online at the end of this year. The fluid heated to 230 °C is said to be used for pasteurising, blanching and roasting pistachios. Horizon Nut is a growers’ cooperative which collectively processes about 70 % of the pistachios in California. The photo shows a laboratory prototype of the parabolic trough collector with the wooden mounting system. This prototype was used to validate the structural model.
Photo: Sunvapor
 

USA: Concerted Actions in California and New York

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2017
SEIA USAIt will require concerted actions by the industry to keep solar heating and cooling on the agenda of politicians and administrators of incentive programmes in the United States. The Californian solar industry achieved a partial victory in mid-May, when the state assembly approved the extension of rebates for gas-replacing solar thermal systems under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Solar Thermal by 2.5 years, even though the industry had called for five. On the east coast, negotiations with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are still underway for a follow-up of the statewide solar water heater rebate programme, which ended in December 2016. In a policy paper published this February, NYSERDA announced it would make USD 15 million available to incentivise ground-source heat pumps, whereas rebates for solar water heaters were not planned. 
Image: Solar Energy Industries Association
 

Global Status Report 2017: Key SHC Data on Markets and Policy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2017
GSR 2017 SHC ChapterREN21’s Renewables 2017 Global Status Report (GSR) shows how the 20 largest solar thermal markets in the world developed in 2016 (see the chart on the left). Significant growth was reported from Denmark (84 %), Mexico and India (6 % each). Except for the Danish market, last year was a challenging one for key European sales countries because of factors such as low oil and gas prices, declining demand from homeowners and reduced interest in solar thermal among installers. Consequently, there has been a notable decrease in market size in Poland (-58 %), France (-35 %), Austria (-19 %) and Germany (-8 %). The GSR 2017 was first presented at the beginning of June during the Clean Energy Ministerial in Beijing. 
Chart: GSR 2017
 

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