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Serious economic uncertainties by Brexit in UK

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 2, 2018
Chris Hewett, STA Chief ExecutiveIn 1978, the UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) was formed to focus on solar water heating. This year it celebrates its 40th anniversary with a chance to reflect the progress made and the future ahead. Over 200,000 solar thermal systems have been installed in the UK during its operation and there are now around 140 STA members, 57 of which are working in the solar thermal sector. “But Brexit moves closer and causes uncertainties as well for the solar thermal industry”, says Chris Hewett, STA Chief Executive (see photo).

Entirely solar-heated blocks of flats in Switzerland

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 27, 2018

Switzerland’s solar thermal market showed a slight increase last year, thanks to growing demand for solar hot water systems in multi-family houses. According to a press release from Switzerland’s solar industry association Swissolar on 11 July, glazed and unglazed collector area increased by 69,331 m2, a rise of 4 % compared to a year earlier. The area used to heat water in multi-family buildings jumped as much as 35 %. Every year, the association conducts a survey among suppliers of the technology on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
Photo: Jenni Energietechnik

“Racing down the renewable electricity pathway only”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2018
Renewables 2018 Global Status ReportThe Renewables 2018 Global Status Report illustrates the sharp difference in growth between the renewable electricity and heat markets. Whereas PV had another record year, with newly installed capacity totalling at least 98 GWp in 2017, up from 75 GWp, and wind its third-best ever, by adding 52 GW, solar heating and cooling increased by only 35 GWth – a 4 % drop compared to 2016. “Transformation is picking up speed in the electric power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport,” was the key message of a press release published by Paris-based REN21. The report, launched at the beginning of June, has been followed by a series of speeches at events in Manila, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Washington and New York. The press release, translated into 12 languages, has been picked up by media outlets around the globe. 

Rising demand for solar heat in large buildings and industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2018
SHW 1By the end of 2017, the market for solar heating and cooling had grown by 472 GWth, which again made it the largest for solar energy in the world. The one for photovoltaic systems gained 402 GWp to become the second-largest, and 5 GWel was enough for concentrating solar power to rank third, according to the latest Solar Heat Worldwide report. The report also highlights the rising use of megawatt-class solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and residential buildings, as well as factories. It was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC.
Source of all figures: Solar Heat Worldwide

Webinar: SHC Market and Industry Trends 2017

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 22, 2018
Solar AcademyThe next Solar Academy webinar on Tuesday 12 June 2018 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM CEST (Central European Summer Time) will highlight the key data and findings of the two most recent SHC market reports: Solar Heat Worldwide. Global Market Development and Trends in 2017 from IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) and Renewables 2018. Global Status Report from REN21. Further information and registration is available online.
 

The slow but steady growth of Russia’s solar thermal industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2018
Photo: New PolusThe Russian collector industry is growing steadily, despite a lack of state support and the impact of the financial crisis. This has been the key message of a Ministry of Industry and Trade report broadcasted on the popular Channel 1 on TV and confirmed by solar thermal expert Professor Vitaly Butuzov. Butuzov estimates that Russia saw the installation of around 2,000 m² of collector area last year. According to the professor, the figure is slightly above the one for 2016, when a total of 500 m² was installed in the form of small systems in addition to the 736 m² collector field commissioned one year later at the Sochi railway station.
Photo: New Polus

Flat plate collector sales in China reach a record 6 million m2 in 2017

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 10, 2018
2017 saw again an increase in flat plate collector area in China. Newly installed flat plate collector area rose by 13 %, whereas vacuum tube collector area declined by 9 % (see the table at the end of this article). Estimates by CSTIF, the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation, put the size of the 2017 flat plate collector market at 6.03 million m2 (4,221 MWth). Jinheng Solar, a flat plate collector manufacturer based in Dezhou in Shandong province, responded to the positive development by expanding production capacity last year. The photo shows the company’s new automated production lines. 
Photo: BTE Solar / Jinheng Solar
 

Spain’s 2017 figures show increase in collector production despite declining market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 6, 2018
2017 saw the Spanish solar thermal market dropping by 5 % to 201,505 m2, or 141 MWth, but surpassing 4 million m2 overall, totalling 4,106,195 m2, or 2.87 GWth. The main reason for the downward trend had been the poor showing of regional support schemes, Spain’s solar thermal industry federation, ASIT, said. Still, economic growth is bolstering the construction sector, and a rising number of newbuilds might put the market back on track this year. In addition, the collector industry showed a 33 % increase, to 198,525 m2, in 2017. Most of the amount, 63 % to be precise, was exported.
Source: ASIT

India: Flat plates up, concentrating technologies down

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 1, 2018
Source: Jaideep MalaviyaIn 2017, India’s solar thermal market shifted heavily in favour of flat plate collectors, with systems based on concentrating technologies losing ground. The chart shows the annually installed flat plate collector area to have more than doubled last year compared to 2016. It went from 150,476 m² (105 MWth) to 397,286 m² (278 MWth) an increase by 164 %. Installation figures for solar water heaters based on imported vacuum tubes rose by 7 % to 1,120,963 m² (785 MWth). Concentrating collector sales, on the other hand, only added 5,450 m² to the total, a much lower value than the 26,040 m² in 2016. The reference period for the annual statistics was changed in 2016. It is now the calendar year, whereas it used to be the Indian financial year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March the following year.
Source: Jaideep Malaviya
 

Germany: Solar thermal loses out to other renewables

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 20, 2018
Wagner & Co2017 was the weakest year for solar thermal collector sales in more than a decade, according to the combined statistics by associations BDH and BSW-Solar. Their data reveals that only 78,000 systems were sold last year. The newly installed collector area added up to 625,000 m², down 16 % from 2016 and as much as 72 % from the boom year of 2008. It was an astonishingly poor showing, considering the strong growth in the construction industry and the high incentive amounts available in Germany.
Photo: BSW Solar / Wagner & Co
 

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