District Heating

  • Solarge: Province of Turin

    The Province of Turin implemented a promotion campaign for large-scale solar thermal plants between 2003 and 2006. The campaign addressed both, investors and technicians, thus enhancing local know-how establishment. Through a call for tenders three buildings were chosen for the installation of...

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  • Cupori Group brings out cleaner copper tubes

    The Finnish company Cupori Group Oy, which in the spring took over the copper business of Outokumpu Copper Tube, now supplies a copper tube with a particularly clean surface. At the Intersolar 2008 in Munich in June the company presented its new “Tub-e” copper tubes, although still under the old...
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  • Clariant: Heat carriers for high stagnation temperatures

    At the beginning of August the Swiss company Clariant brought a new heat transfer medium for solar thermal systems out onto the market under the name Antifrogen Sol HT. The antifreeze has been designed to survive stagnation temperatures of over 270 °C unscathed.
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  • Renewable heating law in Germany: solar - an option among others

    With the Renewable Heating Law (EEWärmeG) the German government aims at increasing the share of renewable energy in the heating demand from 6 to 14 % until 2020. From 1 January, 2009 on owners and operators of private, commercial and public buildings will have to provide a minimum share of their...

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  • Spain: Solar Obligation since 2006

    In March 2006 the Spanish Government passed the new Technical Buildings Code (CTE). It has been the most significant reform of the country’s building sector in decades. The law covers safety, health and noise protection issues in buildings, and it deals with sustainability and energy...

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  • Front-runners of solar district heating

    Feeding directly into the district heating system of the Austrian city of Graz: The collector fields are mounted on four different hall roofs belonging to the AEVG, a municipal waste disposal company. Photo: S.O.L.I.D. / Oberländer

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  • What are the long-term future perspectives of the sector in Europe?

    The ambitious scenario of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) expects Europe will reach 0.7 kWth (1 m2 of collector area) per European in 2020, equivalent to a total capacity in operation in the EU by then of 320 GWth. To reach this target, a suitable support framework will be required and solar will then be widely used for both cooling and supplying process heat, though the majority of this capacity will still supply domestic hot water and space heating. The average yearly growth rate of the EU market necessary to reach this target is 31 % – less than the rate achieved in 2006 and only 7 % above the 2002 to 2006 average. This scenario requires – supposing a linear growth – an installation of 12.2 GWth (17 million m2) in the year 2020, six times more than in 2007, when 2.1 GWth (3 million m2) were newly installed in Europe as a whole. Further Information: “Solar Thermal Action Plan for Europe” by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) http://www.estif.org/policies/st_action_plan/

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  • Which are the big players of the industry?

    You have fast-growing independent producers here which focus on the production of solar thermal components only. Some of these companies are more than 30 years old, like the German Wagner & Co, the Israeli Chromagen and the US-American Sun-Earth. But the global market leaders today are newer firms like Greenonetec in Austria, the biggest flat-plate collector manufacturer in the world, which was founded in 1991 (turnover 2008: 117 million Euro). Find the ranking of the biggest flat-plate collector manufacturers here.

    The giants of the European heating industry discovered the advantages of heating with the sun only ten years ago. Today all of them offer solar thermal systems and most of them have started producing their own collectors, e.g. Viessmann, Bosch Thermotechnik, the MTS Group or the Vaillant Group. Check the biggest European heating companies here.

    The big players in China are the manufactures of the vacuum tubes for vacuum tube collectors; the three biggest among them are Linuo New Materials, Himin and Sangle.

    Another sector which is gaining strength is the coatings industry, providing absorber sheets with a certain coating which guarantees very high absorptivity and very little emissivity. The two biggest players worldwide are the German companies Alanod-Solar GmbH & Co. KG and Bluetec GmbH & Co. KG. In the next few years, façade and roof specialists are likely to enter the market in Europe. Additionally, a few more national heating manufacturers will start selling and producing solar thermal systems.

    Further information:www.greenonetec.com,www.sunearthinc, www.chromagen.biz, www.alanod-sunselect.de, www.bluetec-germany.de, http://www.bosch-thermotechnik.de/,www.vaillant-group.com ,www.viessmann.com,www.mtsgroup.com, www.wagner-solartechnik.de, www.lnxcl.com/ (Linuo New Materials)www.himin.com and www.sangle.com

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  • Which are the major solar thermal markets worldwide?

    By far the largest solar thermal market in the world according to newly installed solar thermal capacity per year is China. In 2008, around 21 GWth (30 million m2) were sold in China, which was around 80 % of the world global solar thermal market.

    In Europe, Germany – the second biggest market in the world – is dominating. With its newly installed capacity of 1.13 GWth (1,615,000 m2) in 2009, the country reached a market share of 38 % within Europe.

    Position three is held by Turkey, a dynamic solar thermal market which is estimated at 785 MWth ( 1,120,000 m2).

    Besides these front-runners, India, Brazil, Israel, Austria, Greece, USA, Japan, France, Italy, Spain and Australia are countries which reached a market volume of greater than 70 MWth (100,000 m2) in 2007.

    Further information:

    Solarenergie 2007, Study by the Swiss bank Sarasin, November 2008 (Only available in German)

    Solar thermal Markets in Europe. Trends and Market Statistics 2009, Study by European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), June 2009 (see the following link)

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  • Which are the main market drivers?

    Generally speaking, you can differentiate between naturally growing markets and incentive driven markets. In the former, low-cost solar water heaters are already an economic alternative for households to produce hot water instead of using fossil fuels or electricity. Some examples are: China, which is the biggest solar thermal market in the world, Cyprus which has one of the highest solar thermal capacities in operation per capita in the world, and Turkey, which is the third biggest market in the world.

    In incentive driven markets like Germany, there are grants for households and companies. In Austria there is a nationwide subsidy scheme for hotels and guesthouses and there are grants at a provincial level for household customers.

    A third category is markets driven by legal frameworks such as solar obligations. The most famous example is Israel, where the government – because of the oil crisis – passed an obligation applying to all new residential buildings as well as hotels, old people’s homes and boarding schools 29 years ago. Spain followed two years ago with a national solar obligation. In the meantime 15 countries more adapted renewable building laws or solar obligations. You find further news on this issues in the filter section "key pillars", then "policy" and "obligation". 

    Further information: “Best practise regulations for solar thermal”, Study by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), August 2007 http://www.estif.org/fileadmin/estif/content/policies
    /STAP/Best_practice_solar_regulations.pdf

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  • Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap up to 2020

    Published in January 2007, by EREC (European Renewable Energy Council), the document shows the ambitions of the European Renewable Energy Industry to reach the EU targets for 2020 for different sectors, including electricity, heating & cooling, and biofuels.
    It provides roadmaps for each sector, predicting its development and the conditions under which progress can be made.

    Nowadays, in the EU-25, fossil fuels contribute to almost 80 % of the primary energy demand. The target of 20% renewable energy use by 2020 seems to be quite challenging, especially if the appropriate legal framework and incentives are not put in place.

    This EREC report estimates that the contribution to the total primary energy demand will only be roughly 8% in 2010, slightly more than 12% in 2020 and only 12% in 2030 which is very far away from any target set. As for the energy supply, scenarios are more positive: 21% in 2020 if the policy developments and instruments continue progressing.

    If different and specific targets were set, then it would be easier to achieve the given targets. According to EREC, the Renewable Energy roadmap should consist of an overall target for 2020, followed by targets for the different sectors (electricity, heating/cooling, biofuels). Setting up individual targets for the different sectors would fasten the process, given that not all sectors are in the same stage of development.

    As what regards the solar thermal market, this report estimates that more funding on R&D would enable a broader adoption of solar thermal solutions for heating, cooling and storage.

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