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Kyrgyzstan’s capital sees 0.5 MW SDH plant being built

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 19, 2017
Bishkek City HallIn September, the then deputy PM of Kyrgyzstan, Duishenbek Zilaliev, attended the inauguration of a 0.5 MW solar district heating plant in the capital Bishkek. The press release on the event – published by the media and communications department of Bishkek’s city hall on 22 September – also mentioned the operator of the solar field, the Bishkekteploenergo municipal utility, the largest thermal energy provider in the city. The national Environmental Protection Fund supported the project financially by offering a grant of Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS) 10.6 million – 72 % of the total investment costs of KGS 14.8 million (around USD 212,000). 
Photo: Bishkek City Hall
 

California gets 850 MW solar steam plant for enhanced oil recovery

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 18, 2017
MiraahWhile Miraah in Oman (see photo) has only recently begun its solar steam production, US-based Glasspoint has already announced plans to construct another solar plant for enhanced oil recovery. Together with Aera Energy, the company intends to build an 850 MW solar steam-producing plant at the Belridge oilfields just outside Bakersfield, north of Los Angeles, California. In combination with a 26.5 MW PV system, solar energy is expected to save 4.87 billion ft³ of natural gas annually. A Glasspoint press release sent out on 30 November said that construction should start in the first half of 2019 and steam was planned to be produced by the system at the beginning of 2020. 
Photo: Glasspoint 
 

Solar thermal plays minor role in Italy’s energy strategy

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 15, 2017
SEN LogoSolar thermal had been mentioned in only five lines in the first draft of Italy’s National Energy Strategy in June 2017, before public consultation took place. The aim of the document has been to set objectives and provide scenarios for national energy supply and demand until 2030. The country’s Ministry of Economic Development, which developed the Strategia Energetica Nazionale (SEN), received more than 1,000 comments in June and September 2017 and published its final version on 10 November 2017 (find both documents attached). Though the strategy paper contains promising renewable and energy efficiency targets, solar thermal – and heating and cooling in general – will continue to play second fiddle to natural gas.
 

Sun provides 70 % of hot water in blocks of flats

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 13, 2017
Construtora AlttiMore than 3,500 solar water heating systems have been in operation at blocks of flats across Brazil’s ‘solar city’ Belo Horizonte. This figure, an estimate by organisations which were previously part of a business cluster called BH Solar, affirms the city’s exceptional status in Brazil and around the world. Most of the solar systems have been installed on the roofs of high-rise buildings intended for the middle class and the wealthy. The photo shows two such structures. One flat has 4 bedrooms and extends over an entire floor, measuring 280 m². To provide the security that owners were looking for, recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool and a tennis court, have been set up inside the walls put up around the complex. 
Photos: Construtora Altti
 

How to approach green construction in the tropical zone

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 11, 2017
Dr Gao BCA SingaporeWhile nearly zero energy projects in Europe focus on reducing heat demand, green buildings in tropical Singapore require lower cooling loads. To study and discuss methods to meet cooling needs, construction and energy experts from all around the world met in Singapore in late October for a two-day workshop organised by the Building & Construction Authority Singapore (BCA) and the IEA’s Buildings and Communities Programme (EBC). The aim of the Future Buildings Forum (FBF) 2017 was an agreement on strategic R&D priorities for Transforming Cities in Hot and Humid Climates Towards More Efficient and Sustainable Energy Use.
Photo: BCA
 

Maintenance as New Business Option in Spain

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 8, 2017
Recently, maintenance has gained popularity among Spanish solar thermal installers, according to the country’s national solar industry association, ASIT. Its general secretary, Pascual Polo, has been working to encourage the association’s members and end users to have solar thermal equipment undergo regular maintenance checks. Inspections carried out in Madrid and Barcelona have shown that the output of around one-third of the solar thermal systems installed in both municipalities based on the Technical Building Code, CTE, do not meet expectations (link to http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/spain-solar-obligation-2006). 
Photo: Solar del Valle
 

SHC / SWC 2017: Twelve Experts Highlight Success Stories on Tape

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 4, 2017
videosFrom 30 October to 2 November 2017, the SHC 2017 and the SWC 2017 in Abu Dhabi brought together 500 researchers, industry specialists and other experts on solar heating and cooling. The 12 video interviews that solarthermalworld.org recorded at the joint conference outlined trends in today's global solar heating and cooling sector and highlighted policy fields where urgent action is required. The videos were financed by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and the European Copper Association. See the complete playlist.
 

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
 

UK: How Does Solar Thermal Sustain against Photovoltaics and Biomass?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 30, 2017
KingspanAt the end of 2016 the solar thermal industry association STA campaigned successfully for solar thermal to remain in the two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI). However, the year 2017 was so far weaker than the previous years. In the domestic RHI there were 423 residential applications accredited from January to September 2017, compared to 537 in the same period of the previous year. Approved applications for commercial solar thermal plants with in the non-domestic RHI were down to 19 in this same period from 36 in the previous year.  The photo shows a 155 m² installation on the roof of the new Star Community Centre in Cardiff that opened its doors in September 2016. 
Photo: Kingspan
 

Spain: Marketing Activities Foster SHIP Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 29, 2017
SHIP plantsThe Spanish market for Industrial Solar Heat (SHIP) is still small: Currently, there are only three installations ongoing across the country (see screen shot). Now, the Spanish Solar Concentra platform intends to support market development by identifying 130 potential industrial SHIP clients with no access to the piped natural gas grid, but sufficient space for a solar thermal installation in the south of Spain. Diego Crespo, Project Engineer at the Protermosolar association, the coordinator of Solar Concentra, presented this approach during a webinar on 16 November. The organiser of the webinar, Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights, has uploaded a recording and his presentation to its website.
 

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