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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
 

Italy: Market Decline Continues Despite Appealing Incentives

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 1, 2017
Italy InstallationItaly’s solar thermal market experienced another 10 % drop in 2016 despite the availability of at least two appealing incentive schemes: a 65 % tax reduction for small systems and Conto Termico 2.0, a revised national support scheme in place since the beginning of 2016 to support plants of up to 2,500 m². To find out more about the primary reasons for the continuing decline of the national market, solarthermalworld.org spoke with Federico Musazzi, Secretary General of Assotermica, the Italian Association of Manufacturers of Equipment and Components for Heating Systems, and official at the umbrella organisation ANIMA, the Federation of Italian Associations in the Mechanical and Engineering Industries.
Photo: Riccardo Battisti
 

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
 

Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe: Solar Thermal Policies under Development

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 10, 2016
University ZimbabweA growing number of countries in Southern Africa follow the example of South Africa and Namibia to set targets and discuss regulations for an increased deployment of solar water heaters. The reasons are the acute power shortages and the fact that residential households spend 60 % of their electricity on hot water preparation when they use an electric geyser. Lesotho and Zimbabwe launched national strategies in September 2015 to ban electric geysers and Mozambique’s Minister of Science, Technology, Higher Education and Professional Training, Professor Jorge Olívio Nhambiu, confirmed the target of installing 0.1 m² collector area per capita by 2030, as had been defined in the Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap for Zimbabwe in November 2015. The photo shows the Solar Energy Mobile Training Unit showcased during an open day at the University of Zimbabwe.
Photo: SOLTRAIN Zimbabwe/2015

Brazil: Impact of São Paulo Solar Obligation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 13, 2015
Velp Mais BrazilSão Paulo’s around 30,000 new building permits per year and a municipality bylaw (Number 14449/2007) which has required construction companies to make solar water heating part of almost every newbuild since 2008 have created expectations for a flourishing solar thermal sector in this Brazilian city. Independent consultancies estimate that the local solar obligation has led to 110,000 m² of collector area installed at residential buildings.
Photo: Velp Mais
 

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
 

Uruguay: The Battle for Market Growth Continues

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 23, 2015
Uruguay market developmentUruguay, whose population of 3.4 million makes it one of the smallest countries in Latin America, has shown positive market development since 2007. Cumulated installed solar thermal power saw a notable increase from 1 to 9.5 kWth per 1,000 inhabitants. According to numbers published by the National Energy Department and the annual national energy report, the country’s total collector area installed by the end of 2014 amounted to 46,241 m². Mesa Solar, the multi-sector network for the promotion of solar energy in Uruguay calls for accelerated growth to achieve 1 million m² in 2020. The official target of the government is 150,000 m² until 2024.
Source: Construcción y operación de Bancos ensayo de Solar Térmica en Uruguay, presentation held in San José, Costa Rica, on 29 June 2015
 

Italy: 903 Municipalities with Solar Thermal Building Obligation

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 2, 2015
Italien MapIn Italy, a recent national decree no. 164/2014, the so-called Sblocca Italia, aiming at simplifying bureaucratic processes, introduced the concept of a standard building code, which should be developed by the government in cooperation with the regions and municipalities. Of course, in such a standard code, the provisions on energy efficiency and renewables will play a relevant role, which will once again ignite the debate on this hot issue. Hence, Legambiente, one of the major environmental associations in Italy, titled its annual study about the status quo of the implementation of the national renewable building code Simplification and Innovation in Construction: Towards the Building Regulations Act. According to this study, which was presented in February this year, 903 Italian municipalities introduced a mandatory regulation to cover a share of sanitary hot water demand, usually 50 %, with solar thermal technology (see the attached document). The map shows the regions with these kinds of mandatory regulations in place (red and green), as well as the regions without renewable building obligations (orange and yellow). Sicily introduced no specific building regulation.
Source: Legambiente
 

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
 

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