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Finance and Incentives

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.
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 stated that as many as 20,000 homeowners would profit from the credit line over the next years. 
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.

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


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