India: Government Stops Federal Subsidy Scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2014
“Channel partners are free to sell on their own without subsidy from Government of India,” the office memorandum by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy stated on 12 August 2014. This is an important victory for India’s solar water heater manufacturers, which pre-financed around INR 3 billion (about EUR 37 million) in subsidised systems over the last years without being compensated by the MNRE. The manufacturers or their dealers had to sell the solar collector systems as net-of subsidy and claim reimbursement by the government later. Through a strong and solidly united campaign, the Solar Thermal Federation of India made the ministry aware of the extremely difficult business situation over the last one-and-a-half years and called “for the immediate settlement of the pending claims in order to save the industry from bankruptcy”. MNRE’s Secretary, Upendra Tripathy, reviewed the situation and concluded that instead of liabilities mounting, the present subsidy scheme better had to be halted. The subsidy on off-grid PV up to 1 kWp had already been put on hold in April 2014.
 

Netherlands: Energy Demand Reduced to 25 kWh/m²a in Just One Day

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 22, 2014
Roosendaal1In recent years, Roosendaal’s De Kroeven, the Dutch city’s district of terraced houses built in the 1960s (left photo), has radically changed not only its stone face but also its energy performance (right). Netherland’s largest passive-house retrofit project equipped 246 houses with new insulation and solar thermal energy systems. 50 of these houses were part of European project E2ReBuild, which is short for Industrialised Energy Efficient Retrofitting of Residential Buildings in Cold Climates.
Photos: Demonstrator Roosendaal report / E2ReBuild
 

China: No Sales Permit without Solar

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2014
China mandatory lawsIn 2007, some provincial and city governments in China began to implement solar installation requirements. Since then, an increasing number of authorities at different administrative levels have made the installation of solar thermal systems mandatory in new-builds in the residential and public sector, for example, in universities, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The documents which have led to the development of provincial and municipal solar water heater installation requirements were the 11th Five-Year Plan New Energy and Renewable Energy Development (2006-2010) and the Renewable Energy Law of China. Despite some past announcements, there have not yet been any solar building requirements at national level. 
Photo: Simon Goess
 

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
 

Pages