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Finance and Incentives

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.
 

Italy: New Solar Cooling Systems and Opportunities

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 7, 2017
MayaGovernment incentives have been pushing solar cooling forwards in Italy. The large budget available for national incentive scheme Conto Termico 2.0 has made several service providers optimistic about the future of the Italian market. For example, Mario Colaiemma from Maya, the European distributor of Japanese Yazaki chillers, said that “Italy was the key market for our solar thermal-driven chillers in 2016.” The photo shows a typical solar cooling system based on slightly below 50 m² of vacuum tube collectors connected to a 17.6 kW chiller. It was installed in Sicily, also home to two solar cooling plants by German chiller manufacturer Fahrenheit (formerly Sortech). Gregor Feig, Head of Sales at Fahrenheit, said in March 2017 that “two sorption cooling systems were put into operation in data centres in Enna and Caltanissetta, in the very sunny region of Sicily. Two more systems have been delivered, but haven’t gone online yet.”
Photo: Maya 
 

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
 

Poland: Severe Market Decline

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 27, 2017
Poland Market DevelopmentPoland´s market collapsed in 2016. A decline had been expected, but that it would be so severe surprised even insiders from the industry. Only 115,400 m² (81 MWth) were added in 2016, a whopping 58 % less than the 277,000 m² (194 MWth) installed the year prior. Consequently, Poland dropped from rank 3 to 6 on the list of the largest European markets. Between 2012 and 2014, only Germany and Italy had sold more collector area. Since 2015, annual figures have come from SPIUG, the Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Heating Appliances, and these numbers correspond fairly well to the 2016 ones by British consultancy BSRIA. Before 2015, annual market statistics had been published by the Polish Institute for Renewable Energy.
Source: IEO and SPIUG
 

India: Collector Market No Longer Depends on Subsidies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 4, 2017
Indien Market DevelopmentThe Indian solar thermal market is gradually becoming self-sustaining, as fiscal year 2016 showed renewed signs of growth after the suspension of the national grant scheme in 2014. Overall, the glazed collector market grew by 6 % to 1.28 million m² (894 MWth). Another 6,250 m² were installed for use in concentrating collector systems. This figure was not added to the glazed total, but is shown in the chart. The market numbers for 2016 were provided by Indian consultant Jaideep Malaviya, who based his analysis on the import statistics of vacuum tubes and a survey among the few flat plate collector manufacturers still in business in the country today.
(*) The bar for 2016 refers to numbers from the calendar year 2016, as the country’s Central Board of Excise and Customs has not yet published data for January–March 2017. All other bars in the graph refer to figures from the respective fiscal year, which in India runs between 1 April and 31 March the following year.
Source: Jaideep Malaviya
 

Netherlands: Solar Thermal Benefits from SDE+ Solar Heat Tariff

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 1, 2017
District Heating Workshop NetherlandsIn the Netherlands, solar district heating plants with a capacity of 140 kWth or above can benefit from a feed-in tariff scheme called SDE+, which pays a certain amount per kWh of energy. Under the scheme, operators of renewable energy plants can apply for a subsidy to bridge the gap between market price and cost of energy production. Consequently, interest was high when a workshop about solar district heating (SDH) took place in mid-April 2017. It attracted around 50 people from the district heating and the solar thermal industry, consulting businesses and the government. Organised jointly by Dutch district heating organisation Warmtenetwerk, Holland Solar and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO.nl, the workshop featured a presentation on SDH in Denmark – held by Jan Erik Nielsen from PlanEnergi and based on results from Task 45 and 55 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme – and provided information about the national subsidy scheme, thermal storage technologies as well as the only DH plant in operation in the Netherlands to date.
Photo: Netherlands Enterprise Agency 
 

Brazil: 2016 Market Statistics by Newly Founded Industry Association ABRASOL

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 30, 2017
Brazil Market Development 2016A recently introduced annual statistic by Brazil’s newly established industry association ABRASOL based in São Paulo shows that in 2016, the country was again the one with the third-largest number of new installations and the largest solar thermal market in South America. The 1,304,922 m² of newly installed glazed and unglazed water collector area (0.91 GWth) added in 2016 have put it only slightly ahead of India and behind China and Turkey. Brazil’s glazed collector market experienced a comparatively small drop of 4 % considering the country’s ongoing economic and political crisis and the slowdown of Minha Casa Minha Vida (My house, My Life), the programme which had made solar water heaters a requirement for new social housing projects. Reduced purchasing power led to a 10 % decline in the sales of unglazed collectors for swimming pools and vacuum tube collectors played only a minor role last year, garnering 2 % of sales.
Chart: ABRASOL
 

Germany: Process Heat Supply from Vacuum Tubes and Air Collectors on the Rise

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 21, 2017
Process Heat StatisticsThere is a distinct difference between the make-up of the German solar process heat segment and the country’s solar thermal market in general and it concerns the type of collectors used. One in four collectors used in solar process heat systems is an air collector, although the technology contributes only around 10 % to the total collector area newly installed each year. The same has been true for vacuum tube systems, which showed a 35 % share in solar process heat installations among approved projects in 2016 – despite an overall market share of only 9 % last year. All figures are based on statistics provided by the University of Kassel’s Institute of Thermal Engineering, which has been in charge of the research accompanying the subsidy scheme on solar process heat under the auspices of Germany’s Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies or MAP.
Chart: solrico, source: Institute of Thermal Engineering, University of Kassel
 

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