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Renewable heat projects along Danube River

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 28, 2017
Danube RiverDanubeHeat helps small and medium enterprises, research and educational institutions, and public agencies draft EU funding applications. Financially supported by the German education ministry and coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE based in Freiburg, Germany, it consists of a network of thirteen SMEs, research and educational organisations, and municipal administrations. They are from various countries along the Danube River, such as Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldavia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. 
Photo: iStock/_ultraforma_
 

Delay in launch of Croatia’s residential support scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 27, 2017
CroatiaCroatia, a western Balkan country, is one of the most sun-rich nations in the EU, but progress on the solar thermal front has been unsatisfactory in the eyes of Professor Ljubomir Majdandžić, Acting Director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (EPEEF). “Our energy development strategy envisions the installation of 0.25 m² of solar collector area per capita until 2020. But it has become clear that this target will not be met,” he said. 
 

French PVT market is picking up

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 22, 2017
DualsunThe IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will create its own international research platform on PVT systems in January 2018. Researchers and industry representatives from 13 countries so far will then start evaluating new PVT systems for HVAC solutions. This IEA SHC task, which is planned to run until the end of 2020, is being announced at a time when the PVT market in several European countries, such as France and Switzerland, is picking up speed. Experts with an R&D or manufacturing background are welcome to join the platform (see the contact details at the end of this news article). 
Photo: Dualsun
 

Project partners guarantee SDH yield

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 21, 2017
ADEME15 December saw the inauguration of the first installation supported by the subsidy scheme for large-scale solar thermal projects in France. The 2,340 m² collector field by German manufacturer KBB Kollektorbau has since been feeding into a biomass district heating network of Châteaubriant, a town in western France. Altogether, the subsidy scheme’s administrator, French energy agency Ademe, approved six solar thermal projects during the first tender invitation called Appel à Projets National Grandes Installations Solaires Thermiques. The second one in November 2017 led to the submission and approval of a 14,000 m² solar process heat project, which is currently in planning. The programme inviting large-scale solar thermal tenders started in 2015 (see the database of incentive programmes for more information). There are two new submission deadlines planned for March and November 2018.
Photo: Ademe
 

Tempered 2-millimetre glass from India

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 20, 2017
BorosilGujarat Borosil has begun producing its first 2-millimetre tempered glass parts after 18 months of research. The Indian business had received a personal congratulatory letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Managing Director Shreevar Kheruka. It had invested Indian Rupee (INR) 2 billion (around EUR 26.67 million) in the facility. The technology targets the booming solar PV industry, but will likewise be offered to solar collector manufacturers. 
Photo: Jaideep N. Malaviya
 

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
 

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