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India: New Energy Building Regulations to Boost Solar Heating Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 24, 2017
Jaideep MalaviyaThis June, the Indian Ministry of Power published an updated version of the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) developed by the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The ECBC has established energy efficiency standards and a solar share of hot water demand for newbuilds and refurbished homes and commercial buildings across India. But it will be the task of municipal corporations to issue notifications which mandate compliance with ECBC 2017 regulations in the construction sector in their area. The ECBC was launched in 2007 based on the Energy Conservation Act from 2001. The photo shows a vacuum tube installation for solar process heat at automotive manufacturer JBM Group. Solar industry stakeholders have said that it was regrettable that industrial buildings and applications are not covered by the ECBC 2017.
Photo: Jaideep Malaviya
 

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
 

California: San Francisco Passes First Mandate with Solar Thermal Option

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 14, 2016
LuminaltAfter Lancaster, Sebastopol and Santa Monica, San Francisco is now the fourth – and the largest – US American city to mandate the use of solar energy in residential and commercial newbuilds. It also has the first mandate in California which can be complied with by using either solar thermal or photovoltaics. The other three cities stipulated the installation of a PV generator at newly developed premises. The mandate in San Francisco aims at owners of new residential and non-residential buildings who apply for a building permit on or after 1 January 2017. The photo shows the typical multi-storey building structure and density of San Francisco. 
Photo: Luminalt
 

India: Solar System Suppliers Call for Solar Process Heat Obligation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 11, 2015
SKF TechnologiesThe Indian industry imports 80 % of the oil it consumes for heating, boiling, drying or other purposes. The government of India has spent USD 112.748 billion in financial year 2014-15 on the import of these 189.43 million tons of crude oil. Solar thermal is seen as a key technology for reducing government spending and greenhouse gas emissions in the industry on the subcontinent. Despite being heavily subsidised, solar process heat installations are still rare across the country. Now, the solar thermal industry is calling for additional regulations in form of a Renewable Heating Obligation to speed up the deployment of solar thermal technology in the manufacturing sector. The photo shows a solar concentrating system on the roof of bearing manufacturer SKF Technologies in Mysore in southern India.
Photo: Jaideep N. Malaviya
 

Portuguese 2020 target for solar thermal: Faraway, so close to deadline

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 14, 2015
SotecnisolIt’s just like in the Wim Wenders movie: Each year, the Portuguese goal for solar thermal energy seems more faraway, so close to the deadline. The country, which aims at a target of 2,214,282 million m² of installed area in 2020, saw a mere 1,080,317 m² set up until the end of 2014. In 2014, only 54,961 m² were added, 4 % less than in the previous year. This year, market stakeholders expect stagnation, although figures for the first six months pointed downward. An area of 21,852 m² was newly installed during the first half of 2015, which is a decrease of 18 % compared to the same period last year.
Photo: Sotecnisol / Apisolar
 

Lebanon: Municipalities of Tyre Discuss Solar Obligation Pilot Project

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 28, 2015
Lebanon workshopThe Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) has organised a consultation meeting with the Union of Tyre Municipalities (UOTM) to discuss the implementation of a solar ordinance in the south of Lebanon. The workshop took place in the Platinum Hotel in the city of Tyre on 9 May under the patronage of Abdel Mohsen El Husseini, President of the UOTM. This consultation meeting was a follow-up to a series of bilateral talks with individual municipalities to introduce and promote the implementation of a solar obligation at municipality level. With its 60 municipalities, the UOTM is committed to adopting a solar obligation in the framework of a pilot project. 
Photo: LCEC
 

Frontrunner in Solar Obligations in Africa

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 28, 2015
The government of the East-African country approved the so-called Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012, which were gazetted on 25 May that year. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is implementing a number of measures to support the implementation of the ordinance. 
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Kenya: Financial Scheme Attached to Solar Obligation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 28, 2015
Solimpexs AfricaKenya is the frontrunner in solar obligations in Africa. The government of the East-African country approved the so-called Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012, which were gazetted on 25 May that year (see the attached PDF). The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) confirmed that there “has been significant growth in solar thermal” since the solar obligation came into force. The financial institutions have also jumped on the solar bandwagon recently and are creating asset finance solutions to make solar water heating systems affordable. One of them is Housing Finance, a firm quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The company started the SolaPawa programme in March 2015 to focus “primarily on the provision of financing for solar water heating systems for both domestic and commercial entities,” Achieng Oluoch, Head of Marketing at Housing Finance, explains. “Our objective is to enable individuals and institutions to comply with this law in a convenient manner.”
Photo: Solimpexs Africa
 

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
 

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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