Romania: EBRD Finance Facilities Support Romania‘s Near-Forgotten Solar Thermal Tradition

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2014
Logos RomaniaWhen it comes to solar thermal energy, there are interesting parallels between Romania and its southern neighbour Bulgaria. Both countries had already used solar thermal energy under communist rule decades ago. But the ecological tradition seemed lost when both countries made their difficult transition to a democratic and capitalist society. According to a report by the European ENTRANZE passive house project, Romania ranked fifth in the number of globally installed flat plate collectors in 1989, but “the lack of technicians and of policies to develop maintenance services, as well as bad national resource efficiency policies (e.g., which led to copper being replaced by iron pipes in solar collectors) led to notable failures among installed systems.” The ENTRANZE authors note that these technical problems gave solar water heaters quite a negative image in Romania. It was only since the beginning of this millennium that they have been able to get rid of this image and “gain a certain popularity on the market”.
 

India: Portable Kit Allows Testing Bulky Concentrating Collectors Onsite

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 20, 2014
Launch testing centerThe construction of the first testing centre for concentrating solar thermal technology was completed in record time: “The actual work began in mid-February 2014 and was completed by mid-July. It was a real challenge for us, which we are proud to have overcome,” Dr Subhash Ghaisas said in an interview with solarthermalword.org. Ghaisas is not only the Director of the School of Energy Studies, University of Pune, but is also responsible for the new testing site. The photo shows the guests invited to the opening of the testing centre on 22 July 2014, including Dr Ghaisas (sixth from right) and Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary for Solar at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (sixth from left). Also invited was Dr Avinash Singhal (third from left), National Project Manager of the initiative Market Development and Promotion of Solar Concentrator based Process Heat Applications, which financed the new testing centre. 
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy.
 

Austria: Tisun’s Biggest Relaunch in 25-Year Company History

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 14, 2014
TisunA desk and a phone were all that the owners of a garage and a basement office in Kitzbühel, Austria, needed to found solar thermal manufacturer Tisun (formerly known as Teufel & Schwarz) 25 years ago. Today, Tisun exports 83% of its products to over 40 countries worldwide. The company has about 80 staff at its headquarters in Söll, Austria, and engages more than 90 sales representatives all over Europe. According to the company, Tisun has just had “the biggest product relaunch of its history. At the beginning of August, the company exchanged 70 % of its products into new and innovative state-of-the-art items.” Tisun also invested in a semi-automated collector production unit featuring CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) welding for the tray (see photo). 
Photo: Tisun
 

France: subvention scheme requirements for collective solar thermal installations in Languedoc-Roussillon – Prométhée Programme (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on August 13, 2014

(This article is in French)   ADEME, the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management, has published a guidance document on the requirements needed to benefit from state aids for the installation of collective solar thermal systems in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon. The programme grants financial aids for feasibility studies and for solar thermal installation in buildings with high domestic hot water needs, such as social housing, hospitals, hotels, swimming pools.

An Efficient Solar Thermal-Powered Evaporation System for Salt Harvesting and Wastewater Treatment (Feb 2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on August 1, 2014

This presentation was given by the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar) during a conference on “Sustainable Solutions in an Era of Climate Variability”, organized by the Multi-State Salinity Coalition, in Las Vegas in February 2014.

India: Loan-Cum-Capital Subsidy Scheme for Installation of Solar Water Heating and Solar Lighting Equipments in Homes (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 31, 2014

This document, published by the Indian National Housing Bank, provides information on the Solar Capital Subsidy Scheme launched by the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy of the Government of India, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.  The purpose of this scheme is to encourage the use of solar energy by granting incentives when purchasing and installing solar water heaters or solar lighting equipments.  For solar water heaters, the capital subsidy will cover 30% of the benchmark cost. The scheme started in April 2014 and will end on 31 December 2015. 

Czech Republic: “Low financial support and high administrative burden”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 31, 2014
czech republic diagrammAlmost a year after the first call for applications for Czech support scheme Nová Zelená Úsporám (New Green Savings programme) in August 2013, the same negative attitude still pervades the solar system supplier segment. Companies have especially criticised the low financial support and the high administrative burden. The second call of the programme started on 1 April 2014 under the same dissatisfying conditions for solar water heating systems. The Czech Republic’s market volume saw another drop in 2013, this time by 11 %, as can be seen on the chart from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. “Although the sales of domestic companies are shrinking at an alarming rate each year, there are new companies, including online-only shops, which import collectors from China,” Aleš Bufka, who is responsible for the national solar statistics at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, explains. “The customs statistics show many small units by private persons. It seems that people purchase imported collectors to cover their personal demand.” 
Source: Ministry of Industry and Trade
 

Solar Air-Conditioning System Using Single-Double Effect Combined Absorption Chiller (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 30, 2014

This presentation on solar air-conditioning system was given by Kawasaki’s Hajime Yabase, together with Kiyoshi Saito of the Waseda University and Muhammad Idrus Alhamid of the University of Indonesia, at the ATMOsphere conference which took place in Tokyo from 3 to 5 February 2014.  The speakers outlined the numerous advantages of using double-effect absorption chillers in solar air-conditioning system.

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
 

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