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News, District Heating

Australia: Think Big, Think Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 1, 2017
GreenlandIn Australia, the deployment of large commercial solar thermal plants is picking up speed. This year, Monash University had a solar field of 0.5 MW put into operation and aims to expand it to 1 MW. The solar heat that is fed into the district heating system of the large campus area in Clayton, a suburb of Melbourne, is said to meet the entire heat demand in summer. The field consists of vacuum tube collectors by Australian manufacturer Greenland Systems (see photo) and was designed and installed by the LCI engineering consultancy from Melbourne. Currently, Danish Aalborg CSP is in dialogue with Perth-based Agrimin about the supply of solar process heat to a planned sulphate of potash (SOP) mine and processing factory in the state of Western Australia.
Photo: Greenland
 

Solar Is UK's Best District Heating Option

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 24, 2017
The UK government has clear and ambitious plans to raise the share of district heating (DH) in total heat consumption. GBP (Pound Sterling) 320 million is said to be made available for increasing the number of households connected to DH from 220,000 to 8 million by 2030, or to 30 % of today’s 27 million households in the country. These impressive figures are part of a report called Winning Hearts and Minds – Scenario-Driven Stakeholder Analysis on How to Make District Heating Successful in the UK, a combination of scenarios and online surveys developed jointly by German-based Communication Works and the Stockholm School of Economics on behalf of the UK’s Association for Decentralised Energy. The aim is to find suitable avenues for popularising DH among heat users in the country.
 

EU Funding for Solutions to Decarbonise Heating and Cooling Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2017
Horizon 2020A search for ‘solar thermal’ in a recently published 195-page document titled Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy will not return encouraging results (see the attached document). The publication by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shows only 6 entries in total. “Solar thermal is definitely not a priority of the new programme,” said Daniel Mugnier, Head of R&D at French engineering services company Tecsol. “And even if the European Solar Thermal Technology & Innovation Platform were to try to promote several hot topics, there’s only one call [LC-SC3-RES-7-2019 on solar process heat] dedicated to the technology.”
 

Spain: Stakeholder Platform Solplat to Promote New Applications

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 14, 2017
SolplatOn 4 October 2017, the Spanish Ministry of Economy hosted the first general meeting of the newly created Technology Platform on Low Temperature Solar Thermal, Solplat. Funded by the ministry and promoted by Spain’s solar association ASIT, the umbrella platform was created to help companies, public authorities and universities support and improve segments which have seen fairly little market penetration to date. Examples are district heating, solar process heat and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs).
 

Italy: Solar District Heating Shows Few Installations but Good Prospects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 11, 2017
Ambiente ItaliaSubstantial solar resources and a generous incentive scheme called Conto Termico 2.0: Perfect conditions, it seems, for the widespread use of solar district heating. But barriers such as a low gas price and the concentration of district heating in a small part of Italy have so far limited deployment to a few installed systems. The map shows the three existing SDH plants in Varese, Sansicario and Lodi (red circles). A fourth with a gross area of about 600 m² is expected to come online in 2020 to feed heat into Turin’s district network operated by the Iren Group utility (yellow cirle).
Source: Ambiente Italia

SHC 2017: Largest experts’ meeting on integrated solar heating and cooling

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 8, 2017
SHC2017_1500 experts from more than 50 countries attended the 5th International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 30 October to 2 November 2017. It was the first time that this biennial conference by the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme had been organised jointly with the Solar World Congress by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). The new partnership resulted in 2017’s largest experts’ meeting on integrated SHC solutions for buildings, industry, cities, regions and utilities, and in over 300 presentations.
Photo: Masdar Institute at Khalifa University of Science and Technology
 

Germany: Renewable District Heating Grants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2017
Wagner SolarGerman politicians are beginning to appreciate the benefits of solar district heating, or SDH for short. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi, has launched District Heating Networks 4.0, a new subsidy scheme for grids which use solar, biomass or waste heat to meet at least 50 % of their customers’ annual demand. Since 1 July 2017, utilities and cooperatives have been able to apply for a grant covering up to 60 % of the cost of feasibility studies and up to 50 % of the investment in new networks. In late September, the BMWi also organised a workshop, Solar Heat in District Heating, during which planners and turnkey system suppliers reported on the good performance of recently completed SDH plants in the German town of Senftenberg and the city of Chemnitz (see photo). 
Photo: Wagner Solar
 

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.

Solar District Heating: How to Tackle Land Use Issues

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 11, 2017
SDH double useUsually, solar district heating (SDH) plants require large fields for collector installations, which has raised concerns at local level because of competing land uses and a system’s potential visual impact on the surroundings. One way out of this dilemma is to combine heat generation and fruit and vegetable harvest (see illustration). As part of SDHp2m…From Policy to Market, a Horizon 2020 project, some regions are looking to create regulations based on best practice examples of land use or spatial heat planning. This article will present showcases from the Styria region in Austria, Hamburg in Germany and Valle d’Aosta in Italy (see also the attached fact sheets).
Graphic: Hamburg Institut Research
 

Switzerland: Plans for Solar District Heating Pilot System

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 10, 2017
“Why is there no solar district heating in Switzerland?” Swiss scientists were asking after their visit to Denmark. They had been investigating the feasibility of solar heat in district heating networks in the St Gallen canton and published a 50-page study this March (see the attached document in German). As it turns out, solar heat could be produced in several networks for 60 to 160 CHF/MWh (50 to 140 EUR/MWh). Assuming plant owners or operators could get an incentive similar to the one for small-scale solar heat systems, it would make several larger ones economically viable. Now, the Swiss-based SPF – Institute of Solar Technology has begun to work with a district heating company on giving the country its first pilot plant.
 

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