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Finance and Incentives

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 which was used to validate the structural model.
Photo: Sunvapor
 

Austria: Solar Power Market Up, Renewable Heat Down

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 4, 2017
Market Report Austria 2016
Last year, the Austrian solar thermal market declined for the seventh time in a row. The newly installed glazed collector area added up to 111,040 m² (78 MWth), 19 % below the one of 2015. Sales of biomass boilers experienced a similar drop, with wood chip boilers (<100 kW) down by 12 % and pellet boilers by 14 %. PV capacity was the only one growing again, rising to 156 MWp, 3 % above its 2015 total. These key figures have been taken from a report published annually by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, bmvit, and titled Innovative Energy Technologies in Austria – Market Development (see the attached document in German). This year’s 242-page document was first presented on 22 June in Vienna, Austria. The chapter starting on page 131 provides a comprehensive overview of the Austrian solar thermal market, including sales by collector type and application as well as export and import statistics. 
Image: bmvit
 

Annual tenders for large-scale solar heating and cooling systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 4, 2017
Since 2000 the Austrian Energy and Climate fund offers annual tenders for large-scale solar process heat or solar district heating plants. Also solar heating systems for commercial buildings which cover more than 20 % of the entire heating demand of the building are eligible and new technologies or innovative approaches receive funding. 
 
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Effective Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hungary: Government Strengthens Support for Renewables and Energy Efficiency in Residential Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2017
Spring SolarWhile Hungary’s plans to add two Russian reactors to the Paks nuclear power station have caused quite the stir, the eastern European country’s green energy policies seem to have gone largely unnoticed. On 8 May 2017, during the first Nordic Green Light business forum in Hungary’s capital Budapest, László Szabó, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that his country was striving for a more demand-responsive energy infrastructure by utilising locally available renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. As a first step, it has started to offer zero-interest loans to homeowners for improving building efficiency and installing renewable energy systems. The photo shows a vacuum tube collector installation at the Panorama Hotel in Siófok, a town to the southwest of the Hungarian capital.
Photo: Spring Solar
 

Otthon Melege (Warm Homes) programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2017
Otthon Melege (Warm Homes) programme  is a state incentive scheme suitable for solar thermal energy installation among other efficiancy measures for buildings. The investment grants are offered in seperated calls (end of August 2016, June 2017) and the budget was usually exhausted within a few hours.
 
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Effective Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Zero-interest loans programme for solar collectors and other retrofit measures

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2017
Since April 2017 house and apartment owners in Hungary can apply for zero-interest loans over up to 20 years for improving building efficiency and installing renewable energy systems.  An article from 28 April on dailynewshungary.com stated that as many as 20,000 homeowners would profit from the credit line over the next years. 
 
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Effective Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017

Andalusia: Sustainable Construction Incentive Programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2017
The Andalusia government has finally approved and enacted the Sustainable Construction programme to promote energy efficiency and solar thermal to start in May 2017. The highest solar thermal incentive is paid for social housing projects (85 % of investment costs) and municipal buildings (80 %). Residential buildings and other kinds of public structures are eligible for 30 % of the investment in an solar water heater system.
 
Effective Date: 
Monday, May 15, 2017

USA: Concerted Actions in California and New York

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2017
SEIA USAIt will require concerted actions by the industry to keep solar heating and cooling on the agenda of politicians and administrators of incentive programmes in the United States. The Californian solar industry achieved a partial victory in mid-May, when the state assembly approved the extension of rebates for gas-replacing solar thermal systems under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Solar Thermal by 2.5 years, even though the industry had called for five. On the east coast, negotiations with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are still underway for a follow-up of the statewide solar water heater rebate programme, which ended in December 2016. In a policy paper published this February, NYSERDA announced it would make USD 15 million available to incentivise ground-source heat pumps, whereas rebates for solar water heaters were not planned. 
Image: Solar Energy Industries Association
 

Macedonia – Small Country, But Innovative Industry

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 19, 2017
Ilija NasovDuring the last days of May, it got rather heated in Skopje, Macedonia’s capital – politically and climate-wise. While the summer sun was providing all the warmth it could muster, the nation’s deputies gathered in the Macedonian parliament building to form a new government, bringing an end to a years-long and severe political crisis. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan country with a strikingly viable solar thermal industry, has since been headed by Zoran Zaev, a member of the Social Democratic Union party. Assistant Professor Ilija Nasov (see photo) has high hopes for the new government. In 2012, when Nasov was dean of the Faculty of Ecological Resources Management at MIT University Skopje, he founded collector producer Camel Solar, located on the northern outskirts of Macedonia’s capital.
Photo: Frank Stier
 

Spain: Andalusia Supports 38 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Measures

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 12, 2017
Andalusia SchemeThe Andalusian government has finally approved and enacted the Sustainable Construction programme to promote energy efficiency and solar thermal. So far, there have been EUR 164 million available for 38 renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, such as building insulation, lighting improvements, solar heat, photovoltaics and A/C retrofits (see red crosses in image on left). Applications have been accepted since 15 May 2017. Solar thermal systems are eligible for incentives of between 30 and 85 % of investment costs, depending on the application. The scheme, however, excludes compact, prebuilt residential solar water heaters mostly thermosiphon systems. They will only be subsidised when installed as part of social housing projects.
 

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