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Domestic Hot Water and Heating, News

SHC Solar Award: Five Finalists with Successful Support Policies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 15, 2017
Administrators of successful solar thermal support schemes are in the focus of this year’s Solar Award of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). The jury has chosen five finalists, of which one will receive the SHC Solar Award during the IEA SHC’s joint conference with ISES Solar World Congress (SWC 2017) in Abu Dhabi on 1 November 2017. The finalists come from Australia, Austria, Germany, Lebanon and Tunisia (see logos above). They implemented very different support policies, such as rebates and/or loans as well as building obligations. Their activities all had a strong impact on their national or regional solar heating and cooling market.

Switzerland: Strong Heat Pump and PV Competition

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 3, 2017
Switzerland market statisticsThere couldn’t be a starker contrast between the market development of two renewable heat segments: Whereas Swiss heat pump sales remained at around 18,400 units per year from 2014 to 2016, collector sales dropped significantly from 117,634 m² in 2014 to 66,699 m² last year. Market volume is now below where it was ten years ago and solar water heaters are facing strong competition from heat pumps and photovoltaics (see attached market report in German and French). The annual solar thermal symposium on 8 November in Dübendorf near Zurich will provide an opportunity to discuss alternative applications and technologies.
Source: Swissolar
 

IEA SHC Task 52: Solar Thermal’s Role in 2050 Energy Mix

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 29, 2017
Collector Installation in HamburgWhat role solar thermal will play in the energy sector in 2050 is one of the principal questions that the international Task 52 research project Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments intends to answer. As part of this IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme task, Denmark’s Aalborg University chose four major solar thermal countries in Europe – Austria, Denmark, Germany and Italy – to model their 2050 solar share in national heat production. The university’s estimates range from 3 to 12 % based on country and scenario, which would require 4 to 175 million m² of collector area in each of the four nations. The solar share of all four was rather similar in high penetration scenarios, although climate, energy demand and network design vary significantly. That’s why the researchers from Aalborg concluded that “the findings can be applied to a variety of energy systems, including in countries that are not directly part of this study.” They also underlined the importance solar thermal could have in reducing pressure on scarce resources such as biomass.
Photo: Riccardo Battisti
 

Russia: 25 Years of Sustainable Architecture

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 28, 2017
FEFU design study 1Professor Pavel Kazantsev is an enthusiastic teacher of solar and sustainable architecture at the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in Vladivostok, Russia. He encourages his students during the 3-year course on the Fundamentals of Sustainable Architecture to create eco-friendly designs for residential and commercial buildings. The photo above shows the FEFU campus model created by Natalia Bakaeva; several other design studies are presented in the document attached to this news article. The first course was offered 25 years ago, in 1992, at the Far Eastern National Technical University, which became part of FEFU in 2011.
Source: FEFU
 

Low-Energy Buildings: Solar Thermal, PV or Heat Pump?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 1, 2017
Woche der SonneWhat is the best way to supply heat and power to low-energy buildings? Although there is no single answer to this question, solarthermalworld.org simulated the installation of a solar thermal unit, a PV system, a heat pump and a gas boiler in a low-energy house in southern Germany. The results show that solar technologies are significantly more profitable than heat pump systems. The largest solar field – consisting of 10 m² each of PV and solar thermal combined with a gas boiler – has by far the lowest cost (EUR 35,876) over 20 years in operation. 
 

Renewable Global Futures Report: Experts Divided on Future of Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 5, 2017
CoverIs the transition to 100 % renewables at global level a feasible and realistic objective? What share will renewably sourced heat have by 2050? Will the electrification of heat continue? These are three of more than 100 questions which were answered in interviews with 114 experts from all around the world. Interviewees came from NGOs, research institutions, governmental bodies and international organisations. REN21’s Renewable Global Futures Report published in April 2017 summed up their explanations as part of twelve Great Debates. Lead author Dr Sven Teske from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, presented some of the key findings of the report during a June webinar organised by the International Solar Energy Society. 
 

Turkey: Vacuum Tubes in Residential, Flat Plate in Commercial Segment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 19, 2017
Turkey ApplicationTurkey’s solar thermal market remained strong in 2016. However, sales figures are hardly easy to come by, as there is a formal market, on which businesses offer well-known brands, and an informal one, on which systems are supplied by unregistered small producers. Solar Thermals: Turkey, the latest report on the Turkish market by British consultancy BSRIA has shown that the formal market remained fairly stable last year, with an estimated 1.53 million m² (1.1 GWth) compared to 1.5 million m² in 2015. Owners of residential one- and two-family buildings again accounted for the lion’s share of purchases, as 51 % of all new systems for hot water preparation and a small but growing number of space heating systems were sold to them last year (see the chart above). 
Source: BSRIA
 

Brazil: 2016 Market Statistics by Newly Founded Industry Association ABRASOL

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 30, 2017
Brazil Market Development 2016A recently introduced annual statistic by Brazil’s newly established industry association ABRASOL based in São Paulo shows that in 2016, the country was again the one with the third-largest number of new installations and the largest solar thermal market in South America. The 1,304,922 m² of newly installed glazed and unglazed water collector area (0.91 GWth) added in 2016 have put it only slightly ahead of India and behind China and Turkey. Brazil’s glazed collector market experienced a comparatively small drop of 4 % considering the country’s ongoing economic and political crisis and the slowdown of Minha Casa Minha Vida (My house, My Life), the programme which had made solar water heaters a requirement for new social housing projects. Reduced purchasing power led to a 10 % decline in the sales of unglazed collectors for swimming pools and vacuum tube collectors played only a minor role last year, garnering 2 % of sales.
Chart: ABRASOL
 

Germany: Troubling Times for Wooden In-Roof Collectors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 24, 2017
wooden-frame solar collectorsWooden-frame solar collectors installed by the German cooperative BUSO Bund Solardach may have been the cause of at least 11 fires in 2015 and 2016, listed by solarsicherheit.com. It looks as if fire broke out during collector stagnation. BUSO, a cooperative of about 100 solar installers, was one of the pioneers of solar roof installations in Germany. It used collectors produced by Buschbeck, a company which went bankrupt last year. 
Photo: ifs-ev.org
 

China: Solar Process Heat and Space Heating and Cooling Rack Up Market Shares

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 19, 2017
CSTIFChina’s shift away from residential towards commercial solar thermal applications continues: The collector area of newly installed solar water heaters in single-family buildings declined by 26 % in 2016, whereas the ‘engineering segment’ remained stable last year (see the table below). This segment is comprised of all non-domestic hot water applications, such as space heating and cooling as well as applications in industry and agriculture. Overall, its share in the newly installed collector area went from 61 to 68 %. All figures were taken from the Report on the State of China's Solar Thermal Industry (July to December 2016), a document drafted by Dezhou-based consultancy Sun’s Vision on behalf of CSTIF, the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation. CSTIF has presented this report – which also includes several development strategies – to the National Energy Board. 
 

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