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Germany: Bank Builds Solar House for Alternative Pension Scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 4, 2016
Verlagsgruppe KampradTopping out a new primarily solar-supplied residential building in Germany is not really news anymore, especially because there have already been more than 1,800 solar houses set up all across the country, according to November 2015 statistics by the association Sonnenhaus-Institut (Solar House Institute). What’s special about this topping out ceremony on a solar house in Schmölln in the region of Thuringia at the end of August 2016 is the fact that the investor is a bank. The building is planned to cover 55 % of its heat and 100 % of its electricity demand by solar. With it, local cooperative bank VR Bank Altenburger Land wants to demonstrate to its members and clients what smart living will look like in the future. 
Photo: Verlagsgruppe Kamprad / VR-Bank Altenburger Land eG
 

Austria: Climate and Energy Fund's New Programme Subsidises Solar Houses

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 18, 2014
RupprechterOn 13 June 2014, the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund launched the subsidy scheme Demo Projects Solar House 2014 (in German: Demoprojekte Solarhaus 2014), a new incentive programme for private builders. The stated aim is to gain practical experience with buildings in which at least 70 % of the heat is supplied by solar thermal energy. The programme offers a total of EUR 700,000 in investment grants in 2014 to integrate solar thermal technology into about 40 houses during a first start-up phase. The complete application package must be submitted to Kommunalkredit Public Consulting by 5 pm on 25 September 2014. The photo shows Ingmar Höbarth (left), Managing Director of the Climate and Energy Fund, and Andrä Rupprechter, Austrian Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, at the kick-off event for the new funding programme.
Photo: Thomas Preiss / APA
 

Germany: Solar House Institute Members Win Renergy Award

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 20, 2014
riedel_leukefeldProf Timo Leukefeld and Stephan Riedel, solar experts and members of the Solar House Institute (Sonnenhaus-Institut), have won this year's Renewable Energy Award, or Renergy Award for short. The first award of its kind was presented at the CEB Clean Energy Building fair in Stuttgart, Germany, on 6 March 2014. It honours sector professionals for their commitment and their innovations in the field of renewable energies. The photo shows Stephan Riedel and Timo Leukefeld (right) in front of one of the experts’ self-sustainable solar houses in Freiberg, in the east of Germany.
Photo: Timo Leukefeld
 

Germany: Solar House Trend towards Multi-Family Buildings

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 15, 2013

2013 will have been the first year in which the Sonnenhaus-Institut (Solar House Institute) has felt the effects of the general downward trend in the solar thermal market. According to a press release, the knowledge platform’s 14% increase in buildings in 2013 (176 new houses) marks a notable drop from previous years. The 250 solar houses built in 2012 still represented a growth rate of 20%. This is why the participants of the general assembly at the end of November rather looked to the future than to the past: There are already plans to set up around 300 mainly solar-heated houses in 2014. The association relies on data from its members to determine the number of newly built solar houses. This year, only 40 of these members sent back the questionnaire, instead of the usual 60 to 80.
Photo: Sonnenhaus-Institut

Germany: ENERGETIKhaus100 Reaches up to 98% Solar Coverage

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 13, 2013

Whereas a so-called Sonnenhaus (solar house) is only allowed to carry the name if solar energy covers at least half of its heat demand, the objectives of the German FASA even go a step further. With scientific support from the Technical University of Freiberg, the building contractor created the ENERGETIKhaus100: a possibility to go completely without oil and gas and instead cover up to 98% of the energy demand for heating and hot water by solar energy. The results of a monitoring programme, which the University of Freiberg conducted in an ENERGETIKhaus100 in Berthelsdorf/Saxony over a 5-year period (see photo), have confirmed the high share in renewable sources. FASA built the first 100 % solar house in cooperation with Timo Leukefeld’s former solar installation company Soli fer Solardach in 2006. In the meantime, the contractor has set up almost 50 houses of this type.
Photo: FASA AG

Germany: Solar Heating Saves more CO2 than Maximum Insulation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2012

 Sonnenhaus Solar thermal heating makes houses up to 67% more energy-efficient than a perfectly optimised building envelope. This is the result of a paper which compared the efficiency of solar thermal systems with building insulations. The study, which was commissioned by the German Federal Solar Industry Association (BSW Solar) and carried out by the German Sonnenhaus-Institut e.V. (Solar Houses Institute) and engineering firm Econsult, found that structures with a high solar thermal coverage are significantly more environmentally-friendly.
Photo: Sonnenhaus-Institut e.V.

Germany: Independent of Energy Utilities

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 18, 2011

 Helma’s energy self-sufficient home ” Living without gas and electricity grid connection: On 5 May, German building promoter Helma Eigenheimbau AG inaugurated its first energy self-sufficient home located in the 'show house park for sustainable construction' at the company’s headquarters in Lehrte, Germany. The sun supplies the thermal energy required for hot water and space heating, as well as the electricity for the household and the electric car. As a result, the house is completely independent from any energy suppliers.
Photo: Helma Eigenheimbau AG

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