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Miraah in Oman: “Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 25, 2017
GlasspointReplacing gas with sunshine for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is a cost-effective solution. This is the key message of US-based company Glasspoint, which has mobilised the biggest investment ever in a solar steam-producing unit in Oman. State-owned Petroleum Development Oman is building a concentrating solar thermal collector field called Miraah next to the Amal West oilfield. Once complete, it will generate more than a gigawatt of solar thermal power to drive EOR operations – saving Oman about 5.6 trillion BTUs of natural gas each year. 
Photo: Glasspoint
 

USA: Commercial Systems Dominate Californian Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 24, 2017
California Incentive ProgrammeThe California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program seems to have stabilised at around 20,000 m² (or around 200,000 ft²) of subsidised collector area per year. Commercial applications dominate the statistics, although there was a spike in the share of residential systems in 2016. The peak in applications for commercial pool heating in 2014 was due to the late addition of this type of system to the state subsidy scheme. It took almost a year before the level of incentives and other requirements were set, so that all the applications piling up over that period had to be processed in 2014. The data in the chart was provided by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and shows the subsidised and installed collector area for each year.
Source: CPUC
 

World Map of Solar Process Heat Specialists 2017

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 22, 2017
Worldmap Process HeatIndustrial solar heat is far from being a standard yet, but it is more widespread than you might think. The first World Map of Solar Process Heat Specialists shows 71 companies in 22 countries which reported almost 400 reference systems. Together with additional plants included in the online portal ship-plants.info, the world market for industrial process heat comprises at a minimum 525 plants with an collector or mirror area of at least 416,414 m².  
World map design: Eilers Media / editor: solrico
 

USA/California: CALSEIA´s New President Promises to “Keep SHC on the Agenda”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 16, 2017
The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) named Ed Murray, a solar expert with more than 30 years of experience in the field, its new president in early January 2017. He succeeded Rick Reed, Director of California-based collector manufacturer Sunearth. Murray, a 25-year member of CALSEIA, is President of Aztec Solar, a solar heating and solar electricity system supplier from Sacramento, California. “He’s the right person to lead CALSEIA in the uncertain times ahead,” reads the press release sent the day after the election. “I attend meetings in the states and in Washington DC to make sure that SHC is kept on the agenda and not completely overshadowed by solar PV,” Murray describes his commitment to solar thermal. The photo shows Murray (right) and Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly.
Photo: CALSEIA
 

SOLAR 2017, Denver

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 28, 2016
SOLAR 2017 is the American Solar Energy Society’s 46th annual National Solar Conference. It will be held at the University of Colorado, Denver, October 9 to 12, 2017. It will include technical sessions, forum discussions, plenary panels, workshops, fast-paced switch~ presentations, public solar displays, and networking events.

IEA Medium-Term Report: Solar Heating and Cooling Not on Track for 2 °C Scenario

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 15, 2016
MTRMR 2016The IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report or MTRMR 2016 again includes a chapter on renewable heating and cooling – and it’s growing in size. The 282-page document published from Singapore on 25 October analyses on 47 pages the current and future market development of four renewable heating technologies: biomass, solar thermal, geothermal and heat pumps. The IEA began to add a renewable heating chapter to its MTRMR in 2013 – back then, it had only 14 pages. The authors of this year’s edition emphasise the fact that onshore wind and solar PV are the only renewable technologies on track for a 2 °C target.
 

USA: Californian Solar Process Heat Potential and Gas Price Competitiveness

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2016
Researchers at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have observed a renewed interest in solar process heat applications in recent years, mainly thanks to “the improvement and proliferation of solar collectors for electricity generation and the development of sophisticated solar collector modelling tools.” Last year, two of those researchers – Parthiv Kurup and Craig Turchi – conducted a study on the potential of solar process heat provided by concentrating collector technologies in California (see the attached document). This study, entitled Initial Investigation into the Potential of CSP Industrial Process Heat for the Southwest United States, was supported by the US Department of Energy and was published in November 2015. The chart taken from it shows the annual energy use of steam in industry segments which utilise the largest amount of gas. The study’s authors found the temperature range from about 120 to 220 °C to be of great interest, as it enables the use of concentrating optics and of water as the heat transfer fluid. 
Chart: Page 22 of the attached study
 

Solar Power International 2017, Las Vegas

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 23, 2016
Solar Power International (SPI) is a large solar conference and expo. In 2015 SPI attracted over 15,000 attendees from more than 75 countries. The 2017 event will take place from 10 to 13 September in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Conference and expo cover the topics PV, CSP, solar hot water, solar heating and cooling and solar pool heating.
 

Intersolar North America 2017, San Francisco

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 6, 2016
Intersolar North America will take place from 11 to 13 July 2017 at the Mocone Center, San Francisco. Exhibition and conference promote the development of business opportunities throughout the U.S. solar industry. The 2016 exhibition and conference attracted more than 18,000 visitors from over 80 countries to comprehensive workshops and presentations, as well as product showcases from 550 exhibitors.

USA: SunShot Funds Development of Cost-Effective Concentrating Collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 29, 2016
SunshotOn 28 July, the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded grants to six research projects which aim to reduce the costs of concentrating solar collectors. The initiative is called COLLECTS, which is short for Concentrating Optics for Lower Levelized Energy Costs, and focuses on the most expensive component of a CSP plant: the collectors / the reflector. One of the beneficiaries of the COLLECTS budget of nearly USD 9 million is California-based, early-stage technology provider Sunvapor, which is planning to supply the industry with solar steam solutions more cost-effective than natural gas-based steam boilers. COLLECT is part of the DOE’s SunShot initiative started in 2011.
 

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