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Germany: International Conference on Heat Access in Southern Africa

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 1, 2016
Soltrain TeamMerging three individual conferences into the International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to Improve Energy Access was rewarded with a satisfying number of attendees visiting the latter. According to the organisers, 185 experts from 38 countries from all corners of the globe met in the small town of Bad Hersfeld near Frankfurt, Germany, in mid-September 2016 to talk about all the technology and market requirements for increasing solar deployment in developing countries. The conference schedule was, of course, fairly focused on photovoltaics, but Southern Africa was well represented, as experts from the partner countries of SOLTRAIN (Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative) presented their work during the event (see photo). 
Photo: OTTI
 

South Africa: Solar Green Beer Production Creates High IRR

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 14, 2016
CBC Installation South AfricaSouth Africa’s solar process heat installations remain profitable when they have to compete against other heat sources, such as diesel, paraffin, petrol or gas, the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, has concluded in a recently published paper. The researchers at the CRSES conducted a feasibility study of a 120.7 m² collector field that was to cover 60 % of the existing hot water requirements of Cape Brewing Company (CBC) based in Suider-Paarl, Western Cape, and analysed ten proposals submitted after the company’s invitation to tender in January 2015. South African E3 Energy won by offering an installation with a levelised cost of energy of 7.9 EUR cents/kWh, an internal rate of return of 16.7 % and a payback period of 9.3 years. CBC´s daily hot water demand is estimated to be 7,000 litres at 85 °C during 245 days a year, i.e., during a full year except for weekends, public holidays and two weeks of summer holidays. The system went into operation in November 2015 and the COO of CBC, Andy Kung, seems satisfied with the performance and the energy saving it offers. 
Still image taken from the short film
 

Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe: Solar Thermal Policies under Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 10, 2016
University ZimbabweA growing number of countries in Southern Africa follow the example of South Africa and Namibia to set targets and discuss regulations for an increased deployment of solar water heaters. The reasons are the acute power shortages and the fact that residential households spend 60 % of their electricity on hot water preparation when they use an electric geyser. Lesotho and Zimbabwe launched national strategies in September 2015 to ban electric geysers and Mozambique’s Minister of Science, Technology, Higher Education and Professional Training, Professor Jorge Olívio Nhambiu, confirmed the target of installing 0.1 m² collector area per capita by 2030, as had been defined in the Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap for Zimbabwe in November 2015. The photo shows the Solar Energy Mobile Training Unit showcased during an open day at the University of Zimbabwe.
Photo: SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe/2015

SOLTRAIN: 2,150 Technicians Trained and 187 Demonstration Systems Installed in SADC Region

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 1, 2016
SOLTRAIN ConferenceThe Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) presented the project’s remarkable progress since 2009 during a conference in Midrand, South Africa, on 11 February 2016. “Between 2009 and 2015, about 2,150 people have been trained in 80 courses, and nearly 187 solar thermal systems ranging from 2 to 250 m² collector area per system have been installed in the five target countries South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe,” Project Coordinator Werner Weiss, Managing Director of Austrian institute AEE INTEC, summed up the results. The photo shows the presentation of Dr Thembakazi Mali, Senior Manager Clean Energy Solutions at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) on 11 February. The one-day conference was attended by 63 stakeholders from the SADC region. 
Photos (2): Monika Spörk-Dür

Solar Process Heat in Breweries (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on February 13, 2015

This presentation was given by AEE INTEC at a SOLTRAIN training in Pretoria, South Africa, in April 2014.  It provides an overview of the EU-funded FP7 project SolarBrew.  This project aims at developing the use of solar process heat in the brewing industry. 3 breweries are part of this project.  The Brewery Goess in Austria is using solar energy for its mashing process, relying on a 1.500m² flat plate collector field and a 200m³ storage tank.

South Africa: Building Regulation Not Applied as Intended

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 1, 2015
SOLTRAIN stakeholder meetingExtended South African National Standard SANS10400 XA, Energy Usage in Buildings, is the big hope of the country’s solar thermal system suppliers. Part XA 2, which was added to SANS 10400 in September 2011, reads: "A minimum volume fraction of 50 % of the annual average heating requirement for hot water shall be provided by means other than electric resistance heating or fossil fuels.” The regulation applies to all new buildings with hot water consumption, as well as refurbished ones if the refurbishment requires planning approval from a local authority (for more details, see the attached architectural guide). After a transition period and a broad discussion among those affected by the new regulation, XA officially became law on 9 September 2014. The photo shows one of the stakeholder meetings within SOLTRAIN, the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative.
Photo: SOLTRAIN
 

Namibia: Solar Water Heaters as Demand-Side Measure

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 3, 2014
NamibiaNamibia has an abundance of solar irradiation – but a lot of electric hot water boilers. Solar water heaters are seen as a strong demand-side measure to save about 30 % of the electricity consumption across the country. This was the key message by Helvi Ileka, Project Officer at the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) at the Polytechnic of Namibia, during her presentation at the Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation conference in Germany at the beginning of November 2014. The government in the southern African country has been promoting solar water heaters since 2007, when the cabinet approved a directive that requires all public and parastatal buildings to cover their hot water needs by solar thermal. Namibia’s Vision 2030 goes far beyond that.
Photo: NEI
 

Germany: New Conference on Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 28, 2014
Solar water pump installation in TogoOn 6 and 7 November, solar experts working for development cooperation agencies all around the world will meet in Frankfurt, Germany, for the Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation conference. The two-day event by experienced German conference organiser OTTI will be held for the very first time. The German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will support the conference by paying travel and participation costs for several of the international speakers. The photo shows electricians in training visiting a solar water pump installation in Togo, West Africa. 
Photo: Bärbel Epp/Urbis Foundation
 

South Africa: Solar Thermal Experts Lecture at University of Pretoria

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 19, 2014
Learning from professionals: On 3 and 4 February 2014, solar thermal experts offered a specialist workshop on Solar Heat for Industrial Applications at the University of Pretoria. The 40 places for the workshop were exclusively limited to persons who had attended previous SOLTRAIN courses or who had experience with large solar water systems in Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe. Lesotho has also been part of the SOLTRAIN project since October 2013. "The best SOLTRAIN course ever," was the positive response of the attendees, according to a press release sent out by Prof Dieter Holm, regional SOLTRAIN coordinator in South Africa.
Photo: Dieter Holm

South Africa: Solar Thermal Technology Platform Launched in Pretoria

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2013

South Africa's electricity network is under constant pressure and blackouts are always looming. The state-owned electricity provider Eskom finally urged its clients in mid-May to cut 10 % off their normal electricity consumption to prevent future outages. The problem hasn’t just been there since yesterday: The South African White Paper on Renewable Energy was already published in 2003 and aimed at 10,000 GWh from renewable energies in 2013, of which 23% was to come from solar water heating. And in 2009, Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, current Minister of Energy, announced her plan for one million solar water heaters in private households and commercial buildings until 2014.
Photo: SESSA/SOLTRAIN

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