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India: First Vacuum Tube Testing Centre Established

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 2, 2014
Pune UniversityThe School of Energy Studies at Savitribai Phule Pune University, located in Maharashtra state, has set up India’s first vacuum tube testing centre. The investment was around INR 4 million (about EUR 50,000) and was funded entirely by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). “Considering the expertise available at our university – in physics, electronics, as well as chemistry - it was the obvious choice,” Professor Subhash Ghaisas, Director of the School of Energy Studies, said. His institution also has the first testing centre for concentrating solar thermal technology, which was inaugurated in July 2014. 
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy

India: Request for proposal: Development of Material and Component Specifications of Six Standards Concentrated Solar Technologies as Reference Document for Maintaining Quality in the Field (2014)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on October 2, 2014

In its effort to rely more and more on solar thermal energy and increase the use of Concentrated Solar Technologies (CST), the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has implemented a project, supported by the UNPD/GEF, which aims at developing material and component specifications of 6 standards CSTs as reference document for maintaining quality in the field by manufacturers.  The Ministry has launched a request for proposal and published a bid document.

China: No Sales Permit without Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2014
China mandatory lawsIn 2007, some provincial and city governments in China began to implement solar installation requirements. Since then, an increasing number of authorities at different administrative levels have made the installation of solar thermal systems mandatory in new-builds in the residential and public sector, for example, in universities, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The documents which have led to the development of provincial and municipal solar water heater installation requirements were the 11th Five-Year Plan New Energy and Renewable Energy Development (2006-2010) and the Renewable Energy Law of China. Despite some past announcements, there have not yet been any solar building requirements at national level. 
Photo: Simon Goess

Europe: 10 Years of Solar Keymark – 1,600 Collector and 220 System Certificates

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 27, 2014
Solar Keymark statisticAt the beginning of June, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation celebrated the 10th anniversary of Solar Keymark at its Intersolar Europe booth in Munich, Germany. Solar Keymark is a well-established certification scheme and label all across Europe and has been viewed as an exemplary model by countries and regions outside Europe as well. Today, there are around 1,600 different certified collectors and about 220 solar thermal systems, all listed in an online database. The chart shows the countries with the highest number of certificates for locally produced or locally offered collectors. China ranks third with 162 Solar Keymark collectors, after Germany (425) and Austria (211). 16 % of the collectors come from outside the 28 EU countries and Switzerland. 
Figure: Solar Keymark 

India: First Stakeholder Workshop for Solar Thermal Roadmap

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 17, 2014
Greentech RoadmapWhereas India shows enormous demand for thermal energy in the industry and for cooking, solar thermal has so far only covered 0.2 % of the total heating and cooling need. Therefore it is urgent to scale up the use of decentralised solar thermal technologies. Supported by the Shakti Foundation, consultancy Greentech Knowledge Solutions (GKSPL), located in New Delhi, will prepare a roadmap for scaling up deployment of decentralised solar thermal technologies in India. With plans to publish the roadmap by October 2014, GKSPL organised the first stakeholder workshop in Pune at the end of April, gathering around 40 experts mainly from the solar thermal manufacturing business.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya

Uruguay: Raising Awareness and Quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2014
Uruguay Solar InstallationUruguay’s solar thermal market is growing slowly, but it is growing – thanks to a residential subsidy scheme and a government decree. The scheme, which started in March 2012, has so far subsidised a solar water heater in almost 1,000 households with between 40 and 70% of the investment costs. The decree, Decreto No 451/011, stipulates a 50% solar hot water share in sport clubs, hospitals and hotels for both newly built and soon-to-be-renovated buildings, a move that has already helped to install several larger systems. The photos show a case study of a larger system installed on the roof of the Lawn Tennis Club in Montevideo. The flat plate collectors from company Alejandro Baroni were manufactured locally. 
Photos: Andrés Eliseo Cabrera

Lebanon: Solar Thermal Included In Official Vocational Training

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 25, 2014
LebanonAround 50 teachers took part in the Training of Trainers at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, at the end of March. The three-day course gathered teachers from most of the key institutions of vocational training in Lebanon in order to explain the new teaching material added to the curriculum and to hand over the course handbook, which serves as a guide to what the teachers should teach. The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) held the workshop in the frame of the Global Solar Water Heating Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative, GSWH, which will run out at the end of April 2014. “We included solar thermal lessons in the official curriculum issued by the Lebanese Directorate of Vocational Training (LDEC) at all three levels of vocational training,” Elie Abou Jaoudeh, responsible for the GSWH project at the LCEC, said. 
Photo: LCEC

Switzerland: Process Heat Collector Performance Testing

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 1, 2014

Elimar Frank 1Process heat collectors in the range of 100 to 250 °C represent a rather new type of technology, and test institutes are facing some challenges when trying to test these collectors. spoke with Dr Elimar Frank, Research Director at the Swiss Institute for Solar Technology, SPF, in Rapperswil. Frank is also Subtask Leader for Process Heat Collector Development and Process Heat Collector Testing in Task 49 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The chart shows the efficiency curves of different collector types.
Charts: SPF

Italy: New Regulations for All Incentive Schemes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 30, 2014
The new Italian budget Law 147 from December 2013 also includes important chapters on renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations. The law extends both the 65% tax deduction for energy efficiency measures and the 50% tax deduction for building renovations until the end of 2014. From 2015 on, the deductible share of both schemes will gradually decrease to 36%. The law also anticipates the revision of the new incentive mechanism for renewable heating systems and energy efficiency measures (Conto Termico). In addition, energy authority GSE revised the implementation rules of the Conto Termico programme at the beginning of December 2013, but Italy’s associations complain that the new incentive scheme is still struggling to take off due to excess bureaucracy.


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