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Standards, Finance and Incentives

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.
 

UNIDO India: Great Potential and Efforts to Increase Awareness of Concentrating Solar Thermal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 2, 2016
Dr Anil MisraThe new interest subvention scheme for Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies administrated by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) is now open for applications. The scheme has been developed in cooperation with the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) during the GEF-UNIDO-MNRE project, which focuses on increasing the deployment of concentrating solar thermal systems for process heat applications in India. “Technology providers or beneficiaries can use a short-term bridge loan at normal interest rates for pre-financing the 30 % capital subsidy that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy grants for CST technologies,” explained Dr Anil Misra, National Project Manager at UNIDO (see photo). IREDA also hands out long-term loans covering up to 45 % of the benchmark system cost at 5 % lower-than-usual interest rates. The remaining 25 % are required as equity by the beneficiary.
 

Egypt and India: UNIDO Supports Industrial Solar Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 22, 2015
UNIDOThe United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) started two projects in the first quarter of this year with the aim of increasing the deployment of solar process heat: January of 2015 marked the launch of a 5-year programme in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote business models for an increased market penetration and scale of concentrated solar thermal heating and cooling applications. Three months later, UNIDO launched the 5-year programme Utilizing Solar Energy for Industrial Process Heat in Egyptian Industry together with the Egyptian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises. Both projects are funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). 
Figure: UNIDO
 

Solar Energy Technologies Program (2009)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 21, 2015

This two page brochure is an overview of the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Program. Written by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this report summarizes the recent initiatives and strategic focus of DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program and touches on regulatory efforts to help the burgeoning concentrating solar power (CSP) market sector.

2009 Updates and Trends – IREC

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 14, 2015

This report was from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Annual Meeting in October, 2009. The report is broken down to cover state incentives & policy trends, solar installation trends, net metering & interconnection updates & trends, and workforce development and training. For current policies that are mentioned to withstand solar growth, they mention the Energy Improvement and Reinvestment Act (part of the federal “bailout bill” in 2008) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (part of the “stimulus bill” in 2009).

SOLARGENIX ENERGY, LLC Proposed Guidelines for Implementing California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). (2004)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on April 6, 2015

Solar thermal generation (with gas assist) has been shown to be cost competitive when compared to other similar fossil technologies providing comparable products, i.e. firm on-peak capacity and energy.  The recently published CEC Cost Comparison Report concluded that, essentially, solar thermal generation with gas assist is cost competitive to combustion turbine technology when used in the same application (firm peaking).  

Switzerland: New Buildings to Reach Nearly Zero Energy Standard by 2020

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 24, 2015
Swissolar TrogenOn 9 January 2015, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Energy Directors agreed on nationwide model rules for building energy codes. These rules include a nearly zero energy standard for new buildings from 2020 onwards and a 10 % renewable requirement for heating system retrofits. Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, the country’s energy standards are similar to what the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) requires from member states. 
Photo: Swissolar
 

India: Concentrating Solar Thermal Test Centre and Website

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2014
India test labTwo milestones were reached in the second quarter of 2014 within the initiative Market Development and Promotion of Solar Concentrator Based Process Heat Applications. On 16 April, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) invited stakeholders to the stone-laying ceremony of a testing centre for concentrating solar thermal technology at the University of Pune (see photo). And on 19 May, Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary for Solar at the MNRE, launched www.cshindia.in, a website explaining the basics of concentrating solar thermal technologies and featuring videos of prominent installations for every possible application, i.e., for cooking, process heat and cooling. 
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy
 

Bulgaria: CL SENES – Hard Times for Well-established Solar Research Centre

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 6, 2013

Next to the Tsarigradsko Chaussee, an important road artery leading to the outskirts of Sofia, one can make out a vast research area belonging to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). On its campus, some scientists produce food for astronauts, others focus on solar energy (see photo). The Central Laboratory of Solar Energy and New Energy Sources (CL SENES) was founded in 1978 and played an important role in the energy efficiency programme of Todor Zhivkov´s government until the fall of communism in 1989. The lab’s research was focussed on using solar thermal energy to heat water in state-owned hotels and enterprises. Back then, some 50,000 m² of solar collectors were installed mainly along the Black Sea coast.
Photo: Frank Stier

UK: Domestic RHI Tariff Applies to Installations After 15 July 2009

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 5, 2013

In July 2013 the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) confirmed the tariff rates for the long-awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The Government’s press release at 12 July 2013 promises that the solar thermal tariff will be set at ‘at least 19.2 Pound Stirling pence (p)/kWh’. This compares with 7.3 p/kWh for air source heat pumps, 12.2 p/kWh for biomass boilers and 18.8 p/kWh for ground source heat pumps.

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