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Argentina: President’s System Order and Planned Energy Price Hikes Boost Solar Thermal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 24, 2016
Argentina EnergeAfter having announced plans to sharply increase energy prices across the country, the Argentine government is said to approve new legislation for promoting solar thermal technology. A new bill, which is expected to be passed by the end of 2016, is thought to create a number of financial incentives, soft loans and a binding obligation for solar water heaters in public buildings. However, the domestic market has already been experiencing remarkable growth: Solar water heaters have gained a significant boost in popularity since this July, when President Mauricio Marci ordered a 260-litre system equipped with a flat plate collector from Energe, one of Argentina’s major solar thermal suppliers. The photo posted on Energe's Facebook page shows the president (middle) and a team from the company at the new solar thermal installation. 
Source: Energe 
 

Dubai: No Solar Thermal System, No Building Permit

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 4, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel DubaiDubai’s solar thermal obligation has had a positive impact on demand for solar water heating systems across the emirate. Since March 2012, newbuilds with a single owner, such as hotels, workers’ dwellings, private villas, shopping malls and public buildings, have had to cover at least 75 % of their annual hot water requirements by solar energy, provided that enough roof space is available. Proprietors of swimming pools have had to install additional solar thermal systems with a capacity of 50 % or more of the total required for heating these pools (see the attached Dubai Municipality Circular No. 183 from 2011). “Consultancies, building owners and construction companies have since become increasingly aware of the opportunities of solar water heaters,” explained Jim Sebastian Parambil, Managing Director of Ecoval Trading, Dubai, UAE. His company, which specialises in heating and cooling solutions with solar thermal collectors and heat pumps, has been in the business for more than 14 years. The photo shows one of Ecoval’s 2014 systems, which consists of 200 Solahart BT collectors and was installed at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.
Photo: Ecoval
 

China: No Sales Permit without Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2014
China mandatory lawsIn 2007, some provincial and city governments in China began to implement solar installation requirements. Since then, an increasing number of authorities at different administrative levels have made the installation of solar thermal systems mandatory in new-builds in the residential and public sector, for example, in universities, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The documents which have led to the development of provincial and municipal solar water heater installation requirements were the 11th Five-Year Plan New Energy and Renewable Energy Development (2006-2010) and the Renewable Energy Law of China. Despite some past announcements, there have not yet been any solar building requirements at national level. 
Photo: Simon Goess
 

Portugal: “Good legislation, bad economy”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 28, 2014
ApisolarThe Portuguese solar thermal industry is still facing a difficult time: With 57,234 m² (30 MWth) of newly installed collector area, market volume in 2013 was down to the level of 2007, according to the annual statistics of Apisolar, the Portuguese national solar industry association (see the attached document). The blue bars show the annually installed collector area (left side) and collector capacity (right). The red cubes just illustrate the trend. “Good legislation, bad economy,” is how Apisolar’s Vice President Solar Thermal, Victor Júlio, describes the current situation. The economy is far from recovering, but there is a silver lining on the horizon: A new building legislation that came into force in December 2013 has made the installation of solar water heating systems mandatory for non-residential buildings. 
Source: Apisolar
 

Austria: European Buildings Directive Demands Better Interaction of Building Technologies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 2, 2014
WelsThe coming years will see a sharp increase in the market uptake of highly energy-efficient buildings across Europe: According to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2010/31/EU), all new buildings must be Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings by 2020 - public buildings already by 2018. The European Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Conference, which took place in Wels, Austria, from 27 to 28 February 2014, was dedicated to buildings that fulfil these high efficiency standards and are supplied by renewable energy sources. It was part of the World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED), one of Europe’s largest annual conferences in the field of sustainable energy. The Wels conference had more than 750 participants from 59 countries this year.
Photo: WSED
 

South Korea: Renewable Building Obligation Increases Market Size

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 8, 2014
At the end of December 2013, South Korea published the official 2012 statistics for the national solar thermal market. The country saw the installation of an additional 63,774 m² of glazed collector area – a plus of 17 % compared to 2011 (see detailed 2011 statistics) and a decrease by 9% compared to 2010. The chart shows the share of the different installation sizes in the newly installed collector area in 2012. Every fifth collector was part of a solar thermal field of more than 300 m² – definitely a high number. Only one-third of the total market volume was installed as part of small units with less than 12 m2. All state subsidy schemes and obligations mandate collector certification. According to industry representatives, there is an unofficial market with non-certified systems, whose size is difficult to estimate. 
Source: Korea New & Renewable Energy Center (KNREC)

Iran: POMAco’s View on Iranian Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 16, 2013

After Iran’s elections in June and the new government taking over in August, hopes are that solar thermal could become an increasingly important technology in the Mideast country. Hossein Riyahi Dehkordi, Managing Director of Iranian solar company Polar Mehr Iranian - POMAco, expects the new government to improve the existing incentive schemes for solar thermal. “New investments and more support for green energy are in reach,” he says. But there has not yet been any specific announcement on how the improvement would look like. The photo shows the solar thermal installation in a public bath, the most common application for solar water heaters in Iran. The following article relies mainly on information from Mr Dehkordi, who gave an exclusive interview to solarthermalworld.org. POMAco is a joint-venture of Iranian company Solar Polar, a subsidiary of heating system specialist Polar Industrial Group and a collector manufacturer since 1999, and solar thermal system importer Taban Mehr Taksa, which is part of the Iranian Taksa Trade Development Group.
Photo: ITW/University of Stuttgart

Argentina: Other Municipalities Follow Frontrunner City Rosario

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 7, 2013

Two years after the approval of the first local ordinance making it obligatory to install solar thermal systems in Rosario, Argentina, the regulation entered into force in September 2012 (see the attached document). Since then, all public buildings in the city have had to cover at least 50 % of their hot water consumption through solar energy. Ordinance 8784 could set an example for other cities in Argentina. Red de Ciudades Solares (Solar City Network) is lobbying to adopt the measure in several other municipalities and has even proposed a nationwide regulation.

Uruguay: Growing at Its Own Pace

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 15, 2013

Uruguay’s government aims at reaching a renewable share of 50% in its national energy mix by 2015. In order to achieve this target, the government approved the so-called Solar Plan in March 2012. It offers up to USD 800 per solar thermal system to clients of the main public utility UTE. UTE reduces the energy bill of any SWH purchaser Uruguayan Peso (UYU) 700 over the first 24 months (UYU 16,800 = USD 800). In addition, the new Decreto No 451/011 mandates a 50 % solar share for hot water generation in hospitals, hotels and sports clubs – for both newly built and soon-to-be-renovated houses. However, some industry actors did not see a dramatic growth in solar thermal installations. Despite a lack of official statistics, one figure is clear: The subsidy scheme offers a budget for 2,000 systems, out of which 600 were already completed between March 2012 and July 2013.

Albania: New Energy Law Shows Country’s Strong Commitment to Solar Thermal

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2013

The new Albanian law on Renewable Energy Sources No. 138/2013 from 2 May 2013, which was published in the Official Gazette No. 83 on 20 May 2013, requires builders to adhere to a minimum share of solar thermal heat for certain building types. Furthermore, the so-called RES Law exempts solar thermal systems and components from custom tariffs and Value Added Tax (VAT) altogether. Starting from the day the law was enacted on 20 May 2013, the government has 6 to 12 months to create the bylaws which should state precisely how the new law will be implemented. The RES Law is the first Albanian law addressing SWH systems in particular (see the attached legal document in Albanian) and representing an important part of Albania’s renewable energy policy. It, however, remains unclear how the budget to refinance the tax exemptions is to be allocated and whether the building regulations will be as effective as expected.
Photo: Endrit Mema

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