Solar Thermal Policy in the U.S.: A Review of Best Practices in Leading States (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on April 17, 2014

This report, written by the Center for Energy and Environment Policy (CEEP) of the University of Delaware, analyses the solar thermal market in the United States and provides a review of best practices in leading states.

It gives information on the different solar thermal technologies and their applications as well as on the status of installation and the costs of solar thermal systems.  A chapter is also dedicated to the federal policies and incentives in place.  

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Solar Heat for Industrial Applications – Design Study Part II (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on April 17, 2014

This presentation on solar heat for industrial applications was given at a SOLTRAIN training course in Pretoria, by Franz Mauthner of the AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies.  The first chapter of the presentation summarizes the results of part I of the design study which focused on process optimization and solar thermal integration.  Part II covers the design of solar thermal systems. This section of the presentation provides an overview of the different solar thermal collector technologies and their efficiency.

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Puerto Rico: New Solar Thermal Programme to Benefit Low-Income Families

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 16, 2014
Puerto RicoThe Senate of Puerto Rico has passed a bill that will allow low-income families to replace conventional water heaters with solar thermal ones. The programme will cover all equipment and installation costs, although the size of the available funds and the target groups has not been defined yet. The law is on its way to the House of Representatives and will give priority to locally manufactured collectors. Puerto Rico is a US territory with commonwealth status and 3.7 million inhabitants. It is located in the eastern part of the Caribbean. 
Source: Wikipedia Comments
 
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Germany: Alanod Purchases Bluetec and Closes Down Its Factory

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 15, 2014
AlanodSince the end of March, the absorber production industry in Europe has had a fairly different look: As of 28 March 2014, Alanod has been the new owner of Bluetec. Both companies are well-known specialists for highly selective absorber coatings for the solar thermal collector industry. Besides providing coated aluminium and copper sheets, they also manufacture and supply highly reflective aluminium for the lighting industry.
Photo: Alanod
 
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Europe: Pedro Dias Appointed New ESTIF Secretary General

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 9, 2014
Pedro DiasESTIF’s Board of Directors has appointed Pedro Dias to serve as new Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation. The former deputy general follows in the footsteps of Xavier Noyon, who left ESTIF at the end of March. Accordingly, the association has reduced its staff from four to three permanent employees – a result of the persistent sales crisis in the European solar thermal industry and the decrease in the number of ESTIF members. However, the association will soon engage two interns to complement the workforce.
Photo: ESTIF
 
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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
 
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Switzerland: Process Heat Collector Performance Testing

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 1, 2014

Elimar Frank 1Process heat collectors in the range of 100 to 250 °C represent a rather new type of technology, and test institutes are facing some challenges when trying to test these collectors. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Dr Elimar Frank, Research Director at the Swiss Institute for Solar Technology, SPF, in Rapperswil. Frank is also Subtask Leader for Process Heat Collector Development and Process Heat Collector Testing in Task 49 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The chart shows the efficiency curves of different collector types.
Charts: SPF

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Denmark: From Sunmark to Sunmark Solutions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 1, 2014
SunmarkBecause of a lack of turnover, Danish collector manufacturer and turnkey solar thermal system supplier Sunmark had to file for bankruptcy on 10 February 2014. “We had had a hard time with the competition during public tenders, but also some difficulties with bad quality products from Danish and Swedish subcontractors, which had created some huge costs to Sunmark,” Hans Grydehøj, CEO, co-founder and one of the two shareholders of Sunmark, explains. “In the end, it was not possible to come to an agreement with the bank, and filing for bankruptcy was the only solution.” The photo shows a district heating plant installed in the Danish town of Oksbøl in 2010.
Photo: Sunmark
 
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Germany: World Map of Solar Process Heat Collector Industry 2014

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 31, 2014
World Map Process HeatThere is enormous demand for industrial heat in the temperature range between 100 and 250 °C all around the world, and solar thermal technologies are said to play an important role in covering this demand over the next decades. A joint project by magazine Sun & Wind Energy and German agency solrico was to find out which companies offer solar process heat collectors, what technology they focus on and how many commercial projects they have already realised. The results of the global survey now make up the first World Map of the Solar Process Heat Collector Industry, which was published in the March edition of Sun & Wind Energy and is also available for download on solrico´s website
Source: Sun & Wind Energy / solrico
 
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Slovenia: Grant and Loan Scheme in Its Sixth Year

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 30, 2014
Slovenia subsidy schemeAt the end of February, the Slovenian subsidy scheme restarted with a new call for applications. Eco Sklad, the Slovenian Environmental Public Fund, has been promoting renewable energies through non-repayable subsidies (grants) and low-interest (soft) loans since 2008. Each year, the scheme supports solar thermal systems, as well as wood boilers and efficiency measures in passive houses until its annual budget runs out. This budget was spent fairly quickly last year. “The budget of EUR 20 million had already been spent in August 2013 and no more applications were possible,” Anton Jančič, Director of Slovenian collector manufacturer Lentherminvest, says. “It is hard to cope with the interruption of 6 months, because demand drops to almost zero when there are no subsidies available.” The chart shows the collector area subsidised each year. In total, Eco Sklad supported the installation of 66,896 m² of collector area over the last six years. 
Source: Eco Fund
 
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