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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
 

IEA-RETD: Lessons Learned from 21 Renewable Projects in Industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 28, 2017
Case Study MapThree years after the International Renewable Energy Agency underlined in its June 2014 Renewable Energy in Manufacturing study the great potential for using renewables in industry, the International Energy Agency has published a comprehensive report on the same topic. It is titled Fostering renewable energy integration in the industry and consists of several documents divided into two parts: a review of 21 case studies on renewable systems integrated into industrial processes and a policy section identifying eight issues which may attract or deter industrial stakeholders intending to deploy renewable production assets at their facilities. Commissioned by the IEA Renewable Energy Technology Deployment Program (IEA-RETD), the publication was lead-authored by French-based ENEA Consulting. It is one of the milestones towards an IEA Insights Paper on Renewables in Industry planned to come out in November 2017. 
Source: IEA-RETD
 

Chile: Solar Thermal Market Moves at Half Throttle

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 11, 2017
ChileOne year after the relaunch of the tax credit scheme for solar thermal systems in February 2016 (Law 20.897), some preliminary figures show a small increase of Chile’s solar market. But although the subsidy for newbuilds will be in effect until 2020, industry representatives have not been particularly satisfied with the impact of the new legal framework. Their criticism was supported by the fact that the announced subsidy scheme for social housing projects and low-income families has yet to be implemented. The market has improved slightly, but is moving at only half throttle. The photo shows the Villa Verde houses in the coastal city of Constitución. Some of the units which are part of this housing project have a thermosiphon system installed on the roof.
Photo: Calder
 

Expo Frio Calor Chile 2018, Santiago de Chile

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 11, 2017
Expo Frio Calor Chile 2018 will take place in Santiago de Chile from 16 to 18 May 2018. The event will show products and services for the air conditioning and refrigeration industry and will give an update about new and alternative energies, sustainability, energy efficiency and the reduction of the environmental impact.
 

Mexico: Second Solar Process Heat Case Study on Copper Mining

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 1, 2016
Mexico Copper MineArcon-Sunmark has announced the completion of a second solar-heated copper mine project. In September 2016, the Danish company installed a 6,270 m² collector field (4.4 MWth) at La Parreña in central Mexico. A 30 September press release said that the solar field would cover 58 % of the mine’s demand for heat. The field consists of 456 components of nearly 14 m² each and a storage tank of 660 m³. The first project of its kind, a field of 39,300 m² (27.5 MWth), was completed with a joint-venture partner at the Gabriela Mistral mine in Chile in 2013. Being the world’s largest solar system for process heat application, it had produced 142,000 MWh in the first 35 months of operation, the press release said. This corresponds to a specific yield of 1,112 kWh per m² and year. 
Photo: Arcon-Sunmark
 

Chile: Consistent Electrolytic Bath Temperature Control Increases Copper Cathode Quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 28, 2016
Ian NelsonPampa Elvira Solar (PES) operates the largest solar process heat installation worldwide, a 27.5 MWth collector field at the Gabriela Mistral mine in Chile. “It´s an every-day, every-hour struggle to harvest the sun and earn our wages, so we may continue the very humble – and much too often neglected – business of running a solar heat-delivering system in the middle of the desert,” said Ian Nelson, General Manager of Pampa Elvira Solar. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with him about dust problems, the opportunities of concentrating collectors, the challenges of ESCO operation and improved copper cathodes. Five-and-a-half years ago, the engineer started at Energía Llaima, an independent producer of hydro and solar thermal solutions. PES, which was founded in 2012, is a consortium of Danish company Arcon-Sunmark and Energía Llaima. 
Photo: Pampa Elvira Solar
 

Solar Process Heat in Chile: “It is essential to use the ESCO model”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 21, 2016
Roberto RomanThe world’s largest process heat installation has recently completed its third year of operation. The 39,000 m² collector field, which went online in October 2013 at Codelco´s Gabriela Mistral mine, is located 100 kilometres south of the town of Calama in Chile´s high central desert. Planning, delivery and installation of the solar field were done by Chilean-Danish joint-venture Pampa Elvira Solar, which has since been the operator of the system as well. The plant provides around 80 % of the energy required for the last step in copper production, the electrolytic refining of the metal in an acid bath. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Roberto Roman, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematical Sciences of the University of Chile. Roman has been part of a university team advising Codelco, Chile´s state-owned mining company, on solar mining from the very beginning.
Photo: Taken from the video interview at the Eurosun 2016
 

Austria: Award-Winning Energy Service Company Publishes ESCO Model Fact Sheets

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 26, 2016
Contracting AwardEnergy Service Companies (ESCO) have become pioneers in the development of financing and operating models for various energy sector customers. Every two years, the so-called Contracting Award highlights exemplary ESCO projects in Germany (“Contracting” is the German word for Energy Service Contracts). For the first time since the launch of the awards in 1997, the jury members from the magazine Energy & Management and the German Heat & Power Association, AGFW, presented one of these awards to a solar thermal ESCO. On 16 April, Christian Holter (third from left), Managing Director of Austrian turnkey system supplier S.O.L.I.D., was presented with the second prize for its solar energy supply contract with a district heating company in the Austrian city of Graz. The company published Tech Sheets and Fact Sheets about ESCO models as part of the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling programme’s Task 45, Large Scale Solar Heating and Cooling Systems (see the attached documents).
 

Spain/South Africa: EuroSun and SASEC Extend Submission Deadlines

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 13, 2016
EurosunTwo solar thermal conferences have recently extended their abstract submission dates. The EuroSun 2016 conference, which will take place on the Spanish island of Mallorca between 11 and 14 October 2016, will still accept submissions until 24 April. Step-by-step instructions, including abstract guidelines and an abstract template, are available on the EuroSun website. The SASEC 2016 conference, which is planned for 31 October to 2 November in Stellenbosch, South Africa, extended its submission deadline to 18 April 2016. Here, abstracts of 400 to 600 words can be uploaded as PDFs to the conference page. One of several key topics of both conferences: markets and technologies for solar heating and cooling. The photo shows participants of the EuroSun 2014 conference, which took place in France in September 2014.
Photo: Romain Blanch/ ISES
 

Chile: New Tax Credits – Better Late than Never

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 2, 2016
BritecTwo years after the end of the tax credit scheme that was part of law 20.365, the Chilean parliament approved an extension of the support programme for solar thermal systems. Although it is good news for domestic solar system suppliers and installers, the approval process for the new incentive took one year longer than expected and many local companies are in critical condition after a prolonged downturn in the industry’s economic activity.
Photo: Britec

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