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Slovakia: Newest Member Country of IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 12, 2016
BobovnickySlovakia is the first country from Eastern Europe to join the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Since its admission, the small nation of only 5.5 million people has been represented by Artur Bobovnický (photo) from the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA). Bobovnický, who had previously held the job of Commercial Director at Slovakian SEVT, an office supplies business, took on the position of Director of Innovation and International Cooperation at SIEA in June 2014. Shortly thereafter, he was made aware of the great potential of the IEA‘s Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs) and successfully convinced the Slovakian government to sponsor membership.
 

Top District Heating Countries – Euroheat & Power 2015 Survey Analysis

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 1, 2016
Euroheat & Power LogoSolar district heating has enjoyed increasing attention from all across Europe and China, triggered by Denmark’s enormous growth rates in the field. Until the end of last year, the Scandinavian country had seen 577 MW of solar thermal power fed into 79 district heating networks mostly run by municipalities. There are another 364 MWth in the pipeline, scheduled for the beginning of this year. To identify the countries with the largest potential for solar district heating, it is worth taking a closer look at the country-by-country statistics of the biennial Euroheat & Power publication, whose most current version is from March 2015 and includes the key market indicators. Euroheat & Power, the association for district heating and cooling, is headquartered in Brussels and has 11 full-time staff.
 

China: Challenges and Opportunities of World’s Largest Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 27, 2016
Reduced real estate investment has been the key reason for the strong decline of China’s solar thermal market. In 2015, the collector area installed annually was down to 43.5 million m² (30.5 GWth), which almost put the figure back to the level of 2009, and the growth rates in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 were -18 % and -17 % respectively. The chart on annual output was taken from a presentation by He Tao, Professor at the China Academy of Building Research. He held it during the Executive Committee Meeting of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme in Spain at the beginning of June. When presenting the numbers, the professor also emphasised that the industry “has made great efforts to find new applications for space heating, solar process heat and space cooling” (see the attached presentation). 
Chart: China Academy of Building Research
 

USA: First-Hand Information on US SHC Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2016
Conference LogosThe American Solar Heating & Cooling Alliance will offer sector-related conferences at both of its major upcoming events in the USA: Intersolar in San Francisco on 12 July and Solar Power International in Las Vegas on 12 September. The SHC Alliance, a division of the Solar Energy Industries Association, is organising and sponsoring these events to assess the tremendous impact solar thermal could have on energy and national gas consumption across the country. There is still little demand for solar thermal technologies and the industry will need to invest considerable effort in communicating their advantages. Gross additions in 2015 for glazed collectors have been estimated at 170,000 m² – a 7 % drop compared to the previous year. Unglazed collectors increased 1 % last year, bringing the total up to 846,000 m². These US market figures were provided by Les Nelson, a member of the SHC Council.
 

Tunisia: Good Hotel and Hospital Investment Opportunities

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 8, 2016
Tunisia StudyA great deal of sunlight, large investment grants and subsidised energy prices: These are the factors determining the profitability of big solar thermal systems in Tunisia, according to the authors of the study Opportunities for solar thermal systems in the tertiary and industrial sectors in Tunisia, a publication by the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, (see attached document in English, the French version is under consultation). Under certain circumstances, a solar thermal system can achieve a double-digit Internal Rate of Return (IRR), for example, if it is installed at LPG-dependent hotels or hospitals on the Tunisian island of Djerba. When solar replaces natural gas in commercial buildings in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, the IRR is still significantly higher than the estimated 4.3 % inflation per year. However, there are difficulties with the economic feasibility of solar process heat applications because not even top reference cases have fulfilled investor expectations. The authors emphasise that the importance Tunisian businesses currently place on payback periods for investing may lead them to overlook valuable projects.
Figure: GIZ study
 

IEA SHC Study Solar Heat Worldwide: Global View on Country Statistics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2016
SHWW regional market developmentThe recently launched report Solar Heat Worldwide 2016 offers a comprehensive overview of the global and national market development in the solar heating and cooling sector (see the attached document). On behalf of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC), Austrian research institute AEE INTEC gathered data on 2014 market changes from 61 countries worldwide, one more than last year (Lesotho). The authors of the report, Franz Mauthner, Werner Weiss und Monika Spörk-Dür, asked national stakeholders about the newly installed capacity in 2014, the type of technology used, the share of applications and, for the first time, the costs of solar thermal systems in their countries. The chart shows the market growth in newly installed capacity in 2013/2014 (glazed as well as unglazed collectors) worldwide and broken down by economic region. The report is the most comprehensive publication on the global solar heating and cooling industry and has been referenced by many international studies from IEA, REN21 and IRENA.
Charts: Solar Heat Worldwide 2016 (page 19).
 

Israel: Winter Hail Storm Boosts Replacement Rate

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2016
ElsolLast year, the Israeli market saw a significant increase in newly installed glazed collector area, showing a total of 428,750 m² or a 9 % increase compared to the previous year. Eli Shilton, Managing Director of Israeli solar thermal system supplier Elsol, believes that a hail storm last winter was responsible for the greater demand for system replacement. “Since local collectors have standard glass covers, the hail storm broke a lot of the glass,” Shilton explained and added: “People are not worried about it, as the systems were covered by insurance and most owners will be reimbursed for all of the damage caused.” Thirty years of experience have made Eli Shilton a well-recognised expert in the Israeli solar thermal industry. The photos show centralised solar thermal systems on new multi-family buildings in Israel.
Photos: Elsol
 

Germany: Symposium Debates Renewable Heating Market Ups and Downs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 4, 2016
Otti SymposiumDuring the first quarter of 2016, solar thermal suppliers in Germany sold around 3 % more systems than they did over the same period last year. This is indeed good news after 2015 turned out to be another disappointing year with a 10 % drop in sales, adding only 805,000 m² (563 MWth) of newly installed collector area. The other good news is that subsidies in Germany have never been as attractive as they are now. It is the reason why the two German solar and heating associations, BSW Solar and BDH, launched the Solar Heating – it always pays off (Sonnige Heizung - immer im Plus) campaign, as announced in a press release in the middle of April – at the same time that the Solar Thermal Energy Symposium took place in Bad Staffelstein. The symposium is Germany’s major annual industry conference on the topic and is organised by the East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI. This year, the three-day conference was attended by around 250 solar thermal experts from research and industry.
Photo: OTTI / Dr Thomas Vorderwülbecke
 

Lebanon: Stable Market Gains New Momentum

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2016
Lebanon Market StatisticsThe Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) has just finished a market survey on the newly installed collector area per collector type over recent years. The newly added area in 2015 was 53,976 m² with a slightly higher share of vacuum tubes, which went up from 54 % in 2012 to 60 % last year (see chart on the left). After two years of decline, market volume again increased in 2015 by 2.4 %. “The study considered all delayed applications as well as market projections based on data received from banks and suppliers,” Rani Al Achkar, Senior Programmes Engineer at the LCEC, said. 
Source: LCEC 
 

China: “Now we should concentrate on technological progress and new applications in industry and agriculture”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 28, 2016
CSTIF AssemblyLast year’s decline in the Chinese solar thermal market was greater than expected: Statements by the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation during the annual assembly in Suzhou, Jiangsu, in November 2015, indicated that around 43.5 million m² had been newly installed in 2015 – 17 % less than in the previous year. Back in October 2015, solar thermal analyst Hongzhi Cheng expected the market only to drop to 50 million m². The figures gathered by Cheng and his Sun’s Vision team for 2014 had totalled 52.4 million m², which is also a reduction by 18 % compared to the year prior. 
Photos (2): CSTIF
 

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