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Finance and Incentives, Process Heat

Financial support for concentrating solar systems extended until 2020

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 14, 2018
Photo: HoneywellThe “order” published by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy on 26 February 2018 put an end to the uncertainty which had pervaded the industry. In the 2-page document, the ministry pledged to continue its investment subsidy programme for concentrating solar thermal systems. The target until March 2020 is 90,000 m² of collector area. The financial year 2017 to 2018, during which 20,000 m² were planned to be subsidised, is almost over.
Photo: Honeywell

1,500 preheating systems in India’s silk region

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 23, 2018
Photo: Jaideep MalaviyaSolar process heat has gained popularity in the centre of India’s silk production – more specifically, in Sidlaghatta, a town in the southern state of Karnataka. The statistics of Karnataka’s Department of Sericulture shows that a little over 1,500 units between 2 and 10 m² have been switched from wood or briquettes to solar for preheating the traditional stoves. The Department of Sericulture has been promoting the technology among silk producers by providing a 75 % subsidy for any reeling unit partly heated by solar energy. The use of sunlight can cut firewood consumption in half.
Photo: Nuetech Solar Systems

EU Funding for Solutions to Decarbonise Heating and Cooling Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 19, 2017
Horizon 2020A search for ‘solar thermal’ in a recently published 195-page document titled Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy will not return encouraging results (see the attached document). The publication by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shows only 6 entries in total. “Solar thermal is definitely not a priority of the new programme,” said Daniel Mugnier, Head of R&D at French engineering services company Tecsol. “And even if the European Solar Thermal Technology & Innovation Platform were to try to promote several hot topics, there’s only one call [LC-SC3-RES-7-2019 on solar process heat] dedicated to the technology.”

TrustEE Facilitates ESCO Project Financing in Industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 26, 2017
TrustEEThe implementation of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewables can help manufacturing businesses cut costs and prepare them for when they will have to compete in a decarbonised market. However, even outstanding technical designs often fail to secure financing. The EU’s TrustEE programme is looking for technology suppliers and project developers who are interested in an evaluation – and a possible funding – of their projects. TrustEE’s offer garnered much attention during Austria’s largest business conference on financing, the Finance Symposium in Alpbach on 5 October (see photo). 

World Bank Supports Solar Concentrating Solutions for Industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 23, 2017
Poll ResultsOn 18 October 2017, speakers from three continents joined a webinar initiated by the World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund and hosted by Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights to talk about opportunities for concentrating solar thermal in industry. Martin Haagen from Industrial Solar, a German-based Fresnel collector manufacturer, analysed solar heat in industry at the macro-level. Rodrigo Mancilla, Executive Director of the Chilean Economic Development Agency, CORFO, gave his thoughts on solar heat in mining, and Eyas Al-Zadjali, Project Development Manager at Glasspoint based in Oman, spoke about the ongoing construction work for Miraah, a plant to generate solar steam for enhanced oil recovery. Additionally, opinion polls during the event asked, for example, what the around 270 participants thought was the best public support mechanism to kick-start concentrating solar thermal deployment (see the screenshot above).

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.

Italy: 10,000 m² ORC-Connected Fresnel and Parabolic Trough Fields

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 19, 2017
Fresnel Collector Field ItalyItaly’s feed-in tariff for medium-size concentrating solar power plants has supported the installation of a 10,000 m² Fresnel collector array in Sardinia (see photo). The mirrors have been in operation since spring this year and are connected to an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit with 600 kW of nominal electric power. Construction for a second demonstration system, a 5 MWth parabolic trough field linked to an ORC turbine, is currently underway in Sicily. Both installations heat thermal oil to between 250 and 300 °C and use it to transfer heat directly from the solar panels to the ORC units by Italian-based Turboden, bringing their electrical efficiency to up to 25 %.
Photo: CSP-F (FERA Group)

Mexico: New Idea Exchange on Solar Process Heat

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 18, 2017
Mexico Platform MeetingDuring an event in Mexico City on 30 August, a collaboration agreement was signed to establish a platform for promoting solar heat in Mexico. The partners in this project are ANES, the national solar energy association; DKTI Solar, the Large-Scale Solar Energy Programme by the German Agency for International Cooperation; and CONUEE, the National Commission for Energy Efficiency. The agreement is intended to result in an inter-institutional platform, to which stakeholders will contribute at their own expense.
Photo: GIZ México

USA: Solar Steam Installation for California’s Pistachio Harvest

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 10, 2017
SunvaporCalifornian start-up Sunvapor has found its first solar steam customer for a demonstration system with the Green Parabolic Trough Collector technology developed in-house. In April 2017, it announced that it had gone into partnership with Horizon Nut to install a 50-kW solar process heat installation at the latter’s pistachio processing facility in Firebaugh. Sunvapor’s CEO and founder Philip Gleckman confirmed that the system is scheduled to come online at the end of this year. The fluid heated to 230 °C is said to be used for pasteurising, blanching and roasting pistachios. Horizon Nut is a growers’ cooperative which collectively processes about 70 % of the pistachios in California. The photo shows a laboratory prototype of the parabolic trough collector with the wooden mounting system. This prototype was used to validate the structural model.
Photo: Sunvapor

Europe: Collector Field Is Main Cost Driver of Industrial Solar Heat Plants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2017
Otti SymposiumScientists from Germany and Switzerland have recently analysed the cost structures of systems producing solar process heat. They presented their findings in mid-May at the Solar Thermal Energy Symposium, where they said they had identified great potential for cost-cutting and discovered a large spread of installation prices. Planning SHIP systems involved more work than doing the same for domestic applications, but it was the collectors that made up the lion’s share of the investment. The three-day symposium attracted around 230 experts from research and industry. As Germany’s major annual conference on solar heating and cooling, it focused this year on turnkey heating solutions, including solar ones for the housing market and industrial processes. It was the 27th symposium and, at the same time, the last one organised by the East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI, which filed for bankruptcy in February 2017. The symposium’s board of advisers has taken over sponsorship until a new conference organiser is found for 2018 (see attached flyer in German). 
Photo: OTTI


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