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Finance and Incentives, News

Solar thermal loses popularity in Malta

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 17, 2018
Malta Subsidy StatisticsThe Mediterranean island of Malta is a paradise for all those who enjoy basking in the sun. But despite the country’s high levels of solar irradiation, its people haven’t yet warmed to solar thermal.

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. 
 

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
 

UK: How Does Solar Thermal Sustain against Photovoltaics and Biomass?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 30, 2017
KingspanAt the end of 2016 the solar thermal industry association STA campaigned successfully for solar thermal to remain in the two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI). However, the year 2017 was so far weaker than the previous years. In the domestic RHI there were 423 residential applications accredited from January to September 2017, compared to 537 in the same period of the previous year. Approved applications for commercial solar thermal plants with in the non-domestic RHI were down to 19 in this same period from 36 in the previous year.  The photo shows a 155 m² installation on the roof of the new Star Community Centre in Cardiff that opened its doors in September 2016. 
Photo: Kingspan
 

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.”
 

Italy: Solar District Heating Shows Few Installations but Good Prospects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 11, 2017
Ambiente ItaliaSubstantial solar resources and a generous incentive scheme called Conto Termico 2.0: Perfect conditions, it seems, for the widespread use of solar district heating. But barriers such as a low gas price and the concentration of district heating in a small part of Italy have so far limited deployment to a few installed systems. The map shows the three existing SDH plants in Varese, Sansicario and Lodi (red circles). A fourth with a gross area of about 600 m² is expected to come online in 2020 to feed heat into Turin’s district network operated by the Iren Group utility (yellow cirle).
Source: Ambiente Italia

Germany: Renewable District Heating Grants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 27, 2017
Wagner SolarGerman politicians are beginning to appreciate the benefits of solar district heating, or SDH for short. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi, has launched District Heating Networks 4.0, a new subsidy scheme for grids which use solar, biomass or waste heat to meet at least 50 % of their customers’ annual demand. Since 1 July 2017, utilities and cooperatives have been able to apply for a grant covering up to 60 % of the cost of feasibility studies and up to 50 % of the investment in new networks. In late September, the BMWi also organised a workshop, Solar Heat in District Heating, during which planners and turnkey system suppliers reported on the good performance of recently completed SDH plants in the German town of Senftenberg and the city of Chemnitz (see photo). 
Photo: Wagner Solar
 

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). 
Photo: AEE INTEC
 

Belo Horizonte – Brazil´s Solar Capital

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 25, 2017
Belo HorizonteBelo Horizonte, a municipality about 600 km north of Sao Paulo in the state of Minas Gerais, is also known as the solar capital of Brazil. Not only does it have a population of about 2.5 million, but solar water heater installations on many of its high-rise multifamily buildings. The photo shows one example, a block of flats for the wealthy middle class. The roof is completely covered in solar water heaters, which meet around half of the annual hot water requirements. This article will present the main drivers of an exciting market development in Latin America: a university research group specialised in solar heating and cooling, committed system planners, strong manufacturers and a pro-solar state utility.
Photos: Bärbel Epp
 

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