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Sweden’s Solar Heat Market on Hold

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 20, 2017
The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) programme has recently updated its country report on Sweden’s solar thermal industry, pointing out the increasing competition with other energy technologies and the factors exacerbating the decline in sales. It seems as if not even the rather high national carbon tax can reinvigorate the country’s solar heat market. Especially in the residential segment, fossil fuels have already been phased out and biomass boilers plus district heating have become the standard in cities, while heat pumps dominate in rural areas. The photo shows a solar facade with vacuum tube collectors in the Swedish city of Malmö. 
Photo: Riccardo Battisti
 

EU Renewables Directive Revision Could Give New Impetus to Solar Thermal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 17, 2017
The European Parliament is planning to vote on a revised Renewable Energy Directive next February. About 1,300 amendments had been submitted until July 2017 related to the first draft of the revised directive from November 2016 (see attached document). The amendments are currently discussed by the members of the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee. The main task of José Blanco López (see photo), a Spanish ITRE member and the rapporteur of the Directive draft, is to reach an agreement on the so-called compromise amendments. They are to represent the shared view of the committee, so that the directive can secure enough support in parliament. Its members are scheduled to vote on these ITRE amendments on 28 November and the solar thermal industry is looking to ensure that the solar thermal sector isn’t being left out of the loop.
 

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.

India: New Energy Building Regulations to Boost Solar Heating Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 24, 2017
Jaideep MalaviyaThis June, the Indian Ministry of Power published an updated version of the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) developed by the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The ECBC has established energy efficiency standards and a solar share of hot water demand for newbuilds and refurbished homes and commercial buildings across India. But it will be the task of municipal corporations to issue notifications which mandate compliance with ECBC 2017 regulations in the construction sector in their area. The ECBC was launched in 2007 based on the Energy Conservation Act from 2001. The photo shows a vacuum tube installation for solar process heat at automotive manufacturer JBM Group. Solar industry stakeholders have said that it was regrettable that industrial buildings and applications are not covered by the ECBC 2017.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya
 

IEA SHC Award 2017: Nominations Call for Outstanding Support Programme / Policy Achievements

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 2, 2017
IEA SHC AwardThe IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has published a Call for Nominations for its 2017 Solar Award. Until 1 May 2017, administrators of successful SHC support programmes or policies can be nominated for the award, which will be presented at the International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry taking place in Abu Dhabi from 29 October to 2 November. “Recipients will have demonstrated substantial achievement and measurable market impact from a programme / policy measure implemented in the last 5 to 10 years to support solar heating and cooling,” the call announcement reads. Nominations can be submitted online.
Photos: IEA SHC
 

Italy: Market Decline Continues Despite Appealing Incentives

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 1, 2017
Italy InstallationItaly’s solar thermal market experienced another 10 % drop in 2016 despite the availability of at least two appealing incentive schemes: a 65 % tax reduction for small systems and Conto Termico 2.0, a revised national support scheme in place since the beginning of 2016 to support plants of up to 2,500 m². To find out more about the primary reasons for the continuing decline of the national market, solarthermalworld.org spoke with Federico Musazzi, Secretary General of Assotermica, the Italian Association of Manufacturers of Equipment and Components for Heating Systems, and official at the umbrella organisation ANIMA, the Federation of Italian Associations in the Mechanical and Engineering Industries.
Photo: Riccardo Battisti
 

Dubai: No Solar Thermal System, No Building Permit

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 4, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel DubaiDubai’s solar thermal obligation has had a positive impact on demand for solar water heating systems across the emirate. Since March 2012, newbuilds with a single owner, such as hotels, workers’ dwellings, private villas, shopping malls and public buildings, have had to cover at least 75 % of their annual hot water requirements by solar energy, provided that enough roof space is available. Proprietors of swimming pools have had to install additional solar thermal systems with a capacity of 50 % or more of the total required for heating these pools (see the attached Dubai Municipality Circular No. 183 from 2011). “Consultancies, building owners and construction companies have since become increasingly aware of the opportunities of solar water heaters,” explained Jim Sebastian Parambil, Managing Director of Ecoval Trading, Dubai, UAE. His company, which specialises in heating and cooling solutions with solar thermal collectors and heat pumps, has been in the business for more than 14 years. The photo shows one of Ecoval’s 2014 systems, which consists of 200 Solahart BT collectors and was installed at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.
Photo: Ecoval
 

California: San Francisco Passes First Mandate with Solar Thermal Option

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 14, 2016
LuminaltAfter Lancaster, Sebastopol and Santa Monica, San Francisco is now the fourth – and the largest – US American city to mandate the use of solar energy in residential and commercial newbuilds. It also has the first mandate in California which can be complied with by using either solar thermal or photovoltaics. The other three cities stipulated the installation of a PV generator at newly developed premises. The mandate in San Francisco aims at owners of new residential and non-residential buildings who apply for a building permit on or after 1 January 2017. The photo shows the typical multi-storey building structure and density of San Francisco. 
Photo: Luminalt
 

Israel: Winter Hail Storm Boosts Replacement Rate

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2016
ElsolLast year, the Israeli market saw a significant increase in newly installed glazed collector area, showing a total of 428,750 m² or a 9 % increase compared to the previous year. Eli Shilton, Managing Director of Israeli solar thermal system supplier Elsol, believes that a hail storm last winter was responsible for the greater demand for system replacement. “Since local collectors have standard glass covers, the hail storm broke a lot of the glass,” Shilton explained and added: “People are not worried about it, as the systems were covered by insurance and most owners will be reimbursed for all of the damage caused.” Thirty years of experience have made Eli Shilton a well-recognised expert in the Israeli solar thermal industry. The photos show centralised solar thermal systems on new multi-family buildings in Israel.
Photos: Elsol
 

Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe: Solar Thermal Policies under Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 10, 2016
University ZimbabweA growing number of countries in Southern Africa follow the example of South Africa and Namibia to set targets and discuss regulations for an increased deployment of solar water heaters. The reasons are the acute power shortages and the fact that residential households spend 60 % of their electricity on hot water preparation when they use an electric geyser. Lesotho and Zimbabwe launched national strategies in September 2015 to ban electric geysers and Mozambique’s Minister of Science, Technology, Higher Education and Professional Training, Professor Jorge Olívio Nhambiu, confirmed the target of installing 0.1 m² collector area per capita by 2030, as had been defined in the Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap for Zimbabwe in November 2015. The photo shows the Solar Energy Mobile Training Unit showcased during an open day at the University of Zimbabwe.
Photo: SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe/2015

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