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Europe’s first-ever renewable heating and cooling target

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2018
Renewable Energy Directive for 2030After night-long negotiations, the European Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030. At long last, discussions that started in November 2016 came to a close in the early morning of 14 June. The new regulatory framework stipulates that a 32 % renewable energy target is to be achieved by the EU in 2030. “This is a substantial increase compared to the 27 % originally proposed by the European Commission,” said Pedro Dias, Secretary General of Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF. “Moreover, the Commission can now take corrective action if this overall target is not met.”

Land secured for Big Solar Graz

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2018
SilkeborgBig Solar Graz has reached a significant milestone by purchasing the land on which to construct a solar field and a seasonal storage system. In mid-June, the project partners told the local press that they had bought 55 hectares in the south of Graz, in the Austrian state of Styria, between the city’s airport and the A9 motorway. A flyer by the region’s public utility, Energie Steiermark, stated that the area was large enough to accommodate a 220,000 m² solar field (154 MWth) and 900,000 m³ of seasonal storage, including three ponds. It has been modelled on the world’s biggest solar district heating plant to date, a 110 MWth installation in the Danish town of Silkeborg (see photo).
Photo: Energie Steiermark

EU labelling: “Solar devices to be classified as heaters”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2018
Image: Solar Heating InitiativeThe German-based Solar Heating Initiative has developed a new calculation method to label solar thermal systems based on the Ecodesign Directive 2005/32/EC. It put the method, which allows for a fair assessment of solar thermal energy input into a heating system, forward for consideration in February, at a stakeholder meeting organised by Dutch-based consultancy Van Holsteijn en Kemna, also known as VHK. Together with BRG Building Solutions, the company has been appointed by the European Commission to carry out a review of the eco-design and labelling regulations on water heaters and tanks.
Image: Solar Heating Initiative

Three labels in Europe – what are the differences?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2018
collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right)Labels and trademarks should give the end-consumer a clear feedback on the quality and performance of the labelled product. Currently there are three labels available for solar products or solar assisted heating systems in Europe, so there is an increasing need to explain the differences to market players as well as customers. The chart above shows the two voluntary collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right) which is obligatory for water, space and combi heaters under the Energy Labelling (ELD) and the Ecodesign (EDD) Directives  since September 2015. 

Optimised control strategy for solar district heating in Italy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 20, 2018
Photo: Linea Reti e ImpiantiDespite its small size, the solar district heating system in Lodi, close to Milan, is one of few in Italy to feed surplus heat into a local network. In March 2017, Linea Reti e Impianti, the public utility based in this city of 45,000, started buying heat produced by a 192 m² solar thermal installation. The system is owned by Sporting Lodi, a public-private partnership that operates the local sports centre, which includes a swimming pool (see photo). Marco Calderoni, a researcher working at the Politecnico di Milano, and his colleagues have recently suggested using a new approach to reduce the supply temperature in the solar circuit to increase performance. This article is based on a presentation given by Calderoni during the 5th International Solar District Heating Conference in Graz in April. 
Photo: Linea Reti e Impianti

“Racing down the renewable electricity pathway only”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2018
Renewables 2018 Global Status ReportThe Renewables 2018 Global Status Report illustrates the sharp difference in growth between the renewable electricity and heat markets. Whereas PV had another record year, with newly installed capacity totalling at least 98 GWp in 2017, up from 75 GWp, and wind its third-best ever, by adding 52 GW, solar heating and cooling increased by only 35 GWth – a 4 % drop compared to 2016. “Transformation is picking up speed in the electric power sector, but urgent action is required in heating, cooling and transport,” was the key message of a press release published by Paris-based REN21. The report, launched at the beginning of June, has been followed by a series of speeches at events in Manila, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, Washington and New York. The press release, translated into 12 languages, has been picked up by media outlets around the globe. 

India needs massive awareness-raising campaign

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 12, 2018
Solar India ExpoIndia’s opportunities and challenges around solar process heat for industry, or SHIP, were the central topic of a session at the 3rd Solar India Expo in May. First, representatives for both currently running support schemes, Solar Payback and a renewable energy project managed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or UNIDO, spoke about SHIP market development and projects. Then, three Indian-based SHIP system suppliers presented successful demonstration systems to the around 50 attendees of the event, held in India’s capital New Delhi. 
Photo: Solar India Expo

Rising demand for solar heat in large buildings and industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 6, 2018
SHW 1By the end of 2017, the market for solar heating and cooling had grown by 472 GWth, which again made it the largest for solar energy in the world. The one for photovoltaic systems gained 402 GWp to become the second-largest, and 5 GWel was enough for concentrating solar power to rank third, according to the latest Solar Heat Worldwide report. The report also highlights the rising use of megawatt-class solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and residential buildings, as well as factories. It was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC.
Source of all figures: Solar Heat Worldwide

Green hotel in Italy’s mountains

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 5, 2018
Photo: Luca Degiorgis / DegmarSolar thermal performs well even in high-mountain areas during winter season. The installation shown in the photo is proof that combining solar and other renewable technologies, such as biomass boilers and a solar-assisted heat pump, results in a synergy that can be very productive. The renewable heating system may have had a price tag of EUR 150,900 but uses innovative solutions, including phase change materials, to store thermal energy and saves EUR 16,000 per year.
Photo: Luca Degiorgis / Degmar

12,000 m² of concentrating solar planned in Brazil

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2018
Photo: RackamA consortium of around 10 companies is planning to build a 12,000 m² concentrating solar plant in Jaborandi, Bahia state, to the northeast of Brazil’s capital. This combined process heat and power system will use parabolic trough collectors (see photo) by Canadian-based Rackam to dry tobacco and generate electricity for an agribusiness. The relevant contracts have been signed and construction is set to start this summer. The plant is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2019.
Photo: Rackam

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