This document prepared by the US Department of Energy in 2004, is meant to inform consumers about the use of solar thermal technologies for water and space heating, namely how it works, its benefits, tips to select contractors, incentives schemes and other practical information on how to purchase a solar heating system, its requirements and maintenance obligations, as well as the estimated payback times.
This overview, which was presented at the 2007 ESTEC conference, summarises the current status of solar thermal legislation in Spain and in the Catalan region in particular. The leading role Barcelona has played in making the installation of solar thermal systems compulsory in new buildings, and the positive results of it, was a catalyst for setting ambitious goals on national level.
The Chinese Linuo Solar Energy Group is the biggest solar tubing glass manufacturer worldwide – and is still growing at a fast rate: The group raised their production output by 70 % in 2008, produced 220,000 tons of borosilicate glass nationwide and sold the largest portion of it to the solar thermal industry. Photo: Linuo Solar
The Government of Western Australia aims to increase the efficiency of water heating systems in new residential buildings. The 5 Star Plus energy and water efficiency requirements stipulate that new home builders install either an energy efficient gas water heater, a solar water heater or a heat pump (see table below). “We give homeowners the choice”, says Angela Heymans from the state’s Department of Commerce. All three types of hot water heating systems are approved as being highly efficient by the Sustainable Energy Development Office in Western Australia.
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) developed a Solar Water Heating Pilot Programme, following the launch of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) in 2006, intended to promote the greenhouse gas emissions reduction by lowering the usage of natural gas and electricity for water heating.
“It's never been more affordable for Queenslanders to switch to solar and save with the Queensland Solar Hot Water Program," Stephen Robertson, the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, said. Photo: Government of Queensland
Greenonetec in Austria is the first collector factory in Europe that has its own glass supplier next door. Petraglas set up a production unit just across the road. This is a model already standard in China, where the material suppliers are situated in the same industrial area as the collector manufacturers. Photo: Greenonetec
Europeans often quote Japan as one of the around 15 countries worldwide, which have approved some sort of solar or renewable building code. This statement, however, is missing serious proof.
This 2009 document is the contribution from ESTELA (European Solar Thermal Electricity Association) to the European Commission’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan. The report gives a good overview of the strategic benefits of focusing on solar thermal and connects it with its socio-economic benefits.