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Domestic Hot Water and Heating

Poland: Two More Public Hospitals to Get Collector System

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 18, 2016
Two hospitals in the adjacent municipalities of Gostynin and Płock in central Poland will be supplied by solar heat by the end of the year. Lucyna Koper, Project Coordinator at the Marcin Kacprzak Regional Hospital in Płock, confirmed that the two projects “have already entered the implementation phase and will be commissioned by the end of 2016. We have already signed the delivery contracts.” The installation will be carried out by a consortium of local companies, consisting of sanitary expert Envirotech and two installation companies specialised on renewable heating systems, Eco-Therm and Wachelka Inergis. The installers had already set up an 803 m2 system for the Pomeranian Centre of Traumatology in Gdańsk (see photo) some years ago. The trauma centre, which has more than 600 beds, had the collectors installed across several roofs of the building complex.
Photo: Eco-Therm

India: Hybrid Solar Heat Pump System Brings Power Consumption down by a Factor 10 on sunny days

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 16, 2016
 
A typical solar hot water system based on thermosiphon technology works only during sunny days. During monsoon and overcast days, however, it is necessary to use alternative means of heating, largely based on electricity. In addition, when more hot water is required temporarily, the solar thermal storage tank restricts the capacity available for the next day – unless auxiliary electrical heating is used. To improve hot water availability, Indian solar water heater manufacturer Emmvee Solar has developed a hybrid system called Solarizer Elite, a combination of a pumped solar system and a heat pump, which is suitable for large homes with hot water demand for multiple applications. Emmvee has installed around ten systems during a field test.
Photo: Emmvee Solar

Smart Heat: Ruvi Solar Highlights Customer Experience

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 14, 2016
Studies by different consulting companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Oliver Wyman, agree that information technology will revolutionise the energy sector from the ground up. Along with the trend of “digitalisation” goes the one of “customer centricity”, which means putting the end users’ preferences and way of thinking in the focus of product design – just as has been done by providers of convenience products. The energy sector in general and solar thermal in particular have hardly pushed the issue into the public spotlight. Now the Austrian start-up ruvi created a new solution to monitor solar thermal systems. The company’s novel approach: Make solar thermal easily understandable without forcing the user to read a manual. 
 

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

Chile: New Tax Credits – Better Late than Never

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 2, 2016
BritecTwo years after the end of the tax credit scheme that was part of law 20.365, the Chilean parliament approved an extension of the support programme for solar thermal systems. Although it is good news for domestic solar system suppliers and installers, the approval process for the new incentive took one year longer than expected and many local companies are in critical condition after a prolonged downturn in the industry’s economic activity.
Photo: Britec

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

SHC2015: “Participants were very confident about the future of solar thermal”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 27, 2016
Professor Dr Bülent YeşilataProfessor Dr Bülent Yeşilata is one of the key experts of solar heating and cooling research in Turkey. He is Professor and Dean of the Engineering Faculty of Harran University in Şanlıurfa, Turkey, and a member of the IEA SHC Executive Committee. Yeşilata was the scientific chair of the international solar thermal conference SHC2015, which took place in Istanbul at the beginning of December 2015. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with him about the challenges and the highlights of the conference. 
Photo: Eva Augsten

USA: Extended Tax Credits for Weak Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 24, 2016
CalseiaAgainst all odds, the solar heating tax credits in the USA were extended again by 5 years. On 18 December 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed, including an extension of the so-called federal Investment Tax Credits up to 2021. Originally, the tax incentives were expected to end on 31 December 2016 after an eleven-year period since 2005, with one previous extension in 2008. They allow both residential and commercial investors of solar PV and solar thermal systems to deduct 30 % of the investment costs at the next tax declaration.
Photo: Calseia.org

Austria: Low Oil Price and Lack of Political Support Weakens Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 15, 2016
Heating with oilAccording to the ISOL Index by solrico and market data from the industry association Austria Solar, the solar thermal industry is heading into another year of declining markets. Low oil prices and corresponding campaigns of the fossil heating industry have had a substantial impact on this renewable technology. The banner shows the slogan “Heizen mit Öl – das zahlt sich aus” (The Benefits of Using Oil to Heat Your Home) on the website of the Austrian mineral oil industry, which offers grants of EUR 2,500 for the installation of a condensing oil boiler in a single-family building. Austria Solar has also criticised the reduction in the renewable budget of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund as well as the complicated incentive scheme rules throughout the states. The large-scale project market is what keeps the industry alive. 

Italy: Conto Termico 2.0 Refers to Expected Yield

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 12, 2016
The latest statistics of Conto Termico in Italy show that the national incentive scheme has still not been used enough: As of 1 January 2016, it had supported only 62 solar thermal plants for public buildings, while the private sector figure was 10,634. Assuming an average plant size of 7 m², as estimated by Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), this corresponds to a total subsidised collector area of 75,000 m² – a fairly low result over the 30 months of the scheme. The subsidy volume for solar thermal now amounts to about EUR 27.5 million, around half of the total incentives which have so far been distributed by Conto Termico. This is again a rather small figure compared to an originally planned budget of EUR 900 million. GSE, the state-owned administrator of Conto Termico, has therefore modified the scheme rules. 

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