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District Heating

Austria: Up to 500 MWth for District Heating in Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 7, 2015

Graz, the capital of one of Austria’s federal states, Styria, and a city with a population of 276,000, is planning to increase the share of solar thermal in its district heating grid by 20 %. The regional utility Energie Steiermark and the Austrian turnkey provider S.O.L.I.D. agreed in June to carry out a feasibility study for a collector field of up to 500 MWth with a matching seasonal storage. The proof-of-concept study will be a joint project of regional energy providers, S.O.L.I.D. and outside specialists. The photo shows the four collector fields with a total of 7,400 m2 partially belonging to the AEVG, the municipal waste disposal company in Graz, operating since 2007, and to Energie Steiermark, operating since 2014.
Photo: S.O.L.I.D.

Austria: Results of 40 Monitored, Non-Residential Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 29, 2015

The sixth invitation to tender for large-scale solar thermal systems in Austria is still accepting applications until 24 September. The Austrian Climate and Energy Fund has again allocated a budget of EUR 5.9 million for installing collector fields of between 100 and 2,000 m2 for process heat, district heating, solar cooling, systems with high solar coverage above 20 % in trade and business and innovative technologies. The subsidy covers 40 % of the additional, environmentally relevant costs of the installation and grants a 5 % bonus for small and medium enterprises. As in the past, applicants must consult with experts from one of the three selected Austrian research institutes before submitting their proposal. Over the first five years, the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund spent EUR 17,258,324 on 163 projects. The pie chart shows the distribution of the 163 approved projects broken down by application.
Figure: Austrian Climate and Energy Fund

Central Europe: Solar District Heating Cost Comparison

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 15, 2015
Solites CostsGerman research institute Solites has compared different models of solar heat use in district heating networks by focusing on the economic viability of these projects. The study Solar Heat Networks for Baden-Württemberg – Fundamentals. Potentials. Strategies. published at the beginning of July was supported by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of Baden-Württemberg, a federal state in the south of Germany (see the attached document in German). The authors of the study analyse seven different generic types of district heating systems which integrate solar thermal, and they come to the conclusion that type 3, 6 and 7, i.e., applications in small rural district heating systems as well as integrations into existing larger urban district heating systems, generate the lowest solar heat costs. On average, heat costs are around 60 EUR/MWh over a period of 25 years, excluding subsidies. In some cases, they even get below 50 EUR/MWh. 
Source: Solites 
 

Webinar: New Business Models for Commercial Solar Thermal Applications

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 29, 2015
Webinar ISESThe solar thermal industry is facing a great challenge in entering new commercial solar thermal markets, be it tourism, solar process heat or large solar district heating. It needs new business models to convince commercial customers to use or to invest in solar thermal. A webinar jointly organised by International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and solarthermalworld.org on 23 June 2015 thoroughly analysed the current situation during presentations by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and three turnkey system suppliers: Industrial Solar, Germany, S.O.L.I.D., Austria, and Nextility, USA (find all four presentations attached to this news article). One thing to take away from the webinar was: Financing is a crucial bottleneck for large-scale turnkey system suppliers.
 

Building a Solar Future – Recovering America’s Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy (2010)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 16, 2015

This report was put out in 2010 by Environment America Research & Police Center. The basis of this report is America’s potential and how the goal should be set to obtain 10 percent or more total energy consumption from the sun by 2030 using solar technology. Technologies described to accomplish this include: concentrating solar power, solar water heaters, solar space heating/cooling, and passive solar design. Through the use of these technologies, it can affect homes, businesses, transportation and entire communities.

Russia: Astrakhan’s Solar District Heating Plant

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 15, 2015
Russian InstallationIt is said to be the largest solar thermal plant in Russia: 2,200 collector modules by German heating boiler manufacturer Bosch Thermotechnik have been installed next to a district heating system in Narimanov in the Astrakhan region in southwest Russia. The district heating plant includes 5 new gas boilers from Bosch Thermotechnik with a total of 30 MW. The complete state-of-the-art heat supply unit – gas and solar – was financed by Astrakhan’s regional government. It was commissioned in October 2012 and inaugurated in June 2013 after a fairly short planning time. The existing district heating system with separate pipes for hot water and space heating provides heat for the 11,600 inhabitants of Narimanov. The 4,400 m² collector field feeds into the hot water pipe system. 
Photo: Bosch Thermotechnik
 

The History of Solarize (2012)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 14, 2015

This presentation was created by Resource Consultants for Solar Oregon. It provides information on the Solarize program, which is a community group purchasing for solar thermal systems.

 

American Solar Works – Harness Your Energy for Your Business (2008)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 13, 2015

This document was prepared by the American Solar Works Holdings LLC. While it gives background information, it primarily tries to encourage solar thermal use for commercial buildings and businesses. Several commercial examples are used of what solar thermal can be used for including: heating hotel domestic hot water, providing showers for athletes and students, washing livestock, providing “green” clean clothes at a laundry mat, heating a building in the winter and augment your absorption chilling in the summer.

Heating Water with Solar Energy Costs Less at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution (2004)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 13, 2015

This report was released by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy section of the U.S. Department of Energy in 2004. It highlights a large-scale solar thermal system installed at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) and breaks down the statistical output. The system was financed through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), which include an average annual savings of $6,700.

UTILITY SUCCESS STORIES IN SOLAR WATER HEATING (2003)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 13, 2015

This paper was prepared by a collaboration between the Hawaiian Electric Company, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Lakeland Electric, Wisconsin Public Service and JEA in 2003. Four utility solar water heating success stories are mentioned from Hawaii, Oregon and Florida. This paper recognizes that the U.S. solar industry is stable and poised for growth, but is still not broadly accepted. Support organizations are mentioned, along with what qualifications go into solar thermal installation before they mention the success stories.

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