India: Five-Year Operational Warranty Protects Ladakh Region Clients

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 29, 2014
Jigmet TakpaLadakh - the land of high passes - is a high-mountain area in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Devoid of fossil fuels, the region receives its fuel wood and timber from Kashmir, while diesel and kerosene come from other parts of India at triple cost. But with 2,190 to 2550 kWh/m², Ladakh has also the highest annual solar radiation across the country, which is why solar energy is rapidly becoming a way of life. The region has commissioned close to 12,000 m² of collector area in recent years and has about 4,500 solar dish cookers, 10 solar steam cooking systems and more than 500 solar thermal dryers for food processing. All of this has been made possible by Jigmet Takpa (see photo), Project Director at the Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency (LREDA). Takpa is working together with the Indian government under its solar mission programme, and its agency received Indian Rupee (INR) 4.73 billion (EUR 60 million) of special funds from the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) development scheme.
Photos (2): Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy
 

Denmark: 23 MWth Cover 55 % of Heat Demand of 1,500 Households

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 28, 2014
MarstalThe new seasonal pit heat storage Sunstore 4 is at the heart of Marstal´s extended solar district heating network. The town on the Danish island of Aeroe receives 55 % of its heat from the 33,000 m² of solar collectors. The pit heat storage installation, the first of its kind, was a difficult undertaking - the team had to cope with heavy rainfalls in the summer and a thick layer of ice in the winter of 2012, when the underground storage was still not covered. June 2014 was the official end of EU project Sunstore4, which contributed EUR 6.1 million to the extension and the monitoring of Marstal´s district heating plant, but work will go on. Marstal Fjernvarme now hopes to receive support from the Danish government. 
Photos: Marstal District Heating
 

SHAAMS report: WP 4: The Regional State of the Art in Crete Region (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 25, 2014

This report, published by SHAAMS, the Strategic Hubs for the Analysis and Acceleration of the Mediterranean Solar Sector, provides a general picture of the solar energy sector in Crete and makes a SWOT analyses.  It shares information on the regional solar policies and strategies already in place, on R&D projects and awareness campaigns.  With regards to solar thermal energy, the report says it is mainly used for hot water production in household buildings and in hotels.  There are very few applications in industry and agriculture.  New technologies, like solar thermal cooling and space

Cost-Effective Use of Solar Energy in East African Horticulture (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 25, 2014

This brochure was published by the Consortium Green Farming, which consists of 25 Dutch companies active in  horticulture technologies and provides support to development projects in East Africa, mainly Kenya and Ethiopia. The brochure is focusing on the demonstration project “Green Dutch Energy Solution; solar-powered greenhouse” whose aim is to analyze the cost savings made by using solar energy in greenhouses in Kenya over a period of 2 years.  

Brazil: Solar Thermal Market Diversifies in 2013

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 25, 2014
Brazil Market Statistics 1In 2013, the Brazilian solar thermal market grew significantly in both the unglazed segment of swimming pool absorbers and the glazed collector segment of solar hot water systems. According to the annual market statistics gathered in February 2014 by DASOL, the Solar Heating Department of the Brazilian Association of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating, ABRAVA, the glazed collector market continued its steep increase with another 20 % of growth last year. Regarding the unglazed market segment, the anonymous survey of the Brazilian market reveals that 2013 was a strong year, showing a growth rate of 18 % after two stagnating years (see the chart on the left). The total newly installed solar collector area was 1.38 million m2 – 20 % more than in 2012 (see 2012 market statistics). The share of glazed collectors was again at around 55 %. 
Source: DASOL / ABRAVA
 

Liechtenstein: New and Innovative Collector Model

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 24, 2014
goinnovateExceptional cooperation begins in unusual situations. Dr Richard Senti, Chief Financial Officer of the Hoval Group, was part of the jury that evaluated the projects presented at the University of Liechtenstein’s annual business plan competition, and Christian Goritschnig, Managing Director of goinnovate, was at the very same competition to show his ideas for an efficient, optimised solar collector model. This was back in 2010 and it became the starting point of three-and-a-half years of cooperation, which have come to a successful close with the new collector model produced at the headquarters of Hoval in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and offered by both companies. Hoval markets the new collector under the brand name Ultrasol, whereas goinnovate sells it under the name Radius and purchases the units from Hoval. The photo shows the goinnovate booth at Intersolar 2014 in Munich, Germany in June.
Photo: goinnovate
 

Belgium: Commercial Customers Can Choose among Several Solar System Variants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 22, 2014
SunoptimoIn Wallonia, Belgium’s southern region, the favourable incentives make it quite a joy to calculate solar heat prices for retirement homes. The home with 110 flats or rooms described in the case study below achieves solar heat prices of 20 EUR/MWh over 20 years, with a solar fraction of 76.5 % in domestic hot water demand. If the net collector area is at least 2 m² per flat or room, subsidy scheme Soltherm grants EUR 1,500 for each housing unit. “We benefit from an incentive that can be as much as 75 % of the investment costs of the solar thermal system,” Bertrand Fontaine, CEO of Sunoptimo, explains. The Belgium solar thermal system supplier specialises in commercial solar hot water systems with drainback technology and of sizes above 100 m². According to Sunoptimo, drainback systems can reach higher solar thermal shares because larger collector fields do not run the risk of stagnation temperatures in summer. 
Photo: Sunoptimo
 

South Africa: Companies Wait on New Eskom Rebate Scheme Requirements

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 21, 2014
Nelson Mandela BayShortly after Jacob Zuma was sworn in for his second term as South Africa’s president at the end of May, he delivered his state of the nation address, during which he presented his views on the further development of the national energy sector, promising new nuclear power capacities and shale gas utilisation. But he also underlined the need for “a sustainable energy mix of wind, solar, biomass and other technologies that increase the opportunity for rural development.” On 23 June 2014, the newly appointed Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, confirmed South Africa´s continued determination to promote solar thermal energy for heating and cooling and bring relief to the country’s overstrained power grid (see the attached document). “The ANC Government has set a target of an additional 1.3 million solar water geysers to be installed in households in the next five years,” she said. The photo shows subsidised housing with low-pressure solar water heaters in the municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay.
Photo: Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality
 

The Evaluation Procedure of Solar Water Heaters Companies in Lebanon (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 18, 2014

The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation has launched an evaluation procedure for companies involved in the solar water heater market.  The purpose of this evaluation is to further develop the solar thermal market in the country, while ensuring that manufacturers, suppliers and installers deliver high quality work.  The document provides information on the general requirements and conditions to submit an application and the type of products that are targeted.  The next rounds of evaluation will take place in September and December 2014.

Analysis of Austrian SDH Plants Constructed in the Framework of a National Funding Programme (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 18, 2014

This presentation was given by Franz Mauthner of AEE INTEC at the 2nd international Solar District Heating Conference in Hamburg on 3 – 4 June 2014.  It outlines the evolution of District Heating in Austria since the 1950’s with an emphasis on solar district heating (SDH).  In 2013, there were 25 SDH plants of over 500 m², representing 35.000 m² of collector area.  The presentation also provides information on national funding programmes, which cover 50% of the additional costs a solar thermal application require.

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