Ukraine: First Demonstration Projects Pave the Way for Solar District Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 30, 2014
Ukraine District HeatingTheoretically, the district heating networks from Soviet times could very well be supplemented by solar thermal heat. Except Poland, however, no eastern European state has had much experience with solar thermal district heating. Bulgaria and Romania have not yet had any plans or projects to combine district heating with solar thermal, but Ukraine has already taken the first step: Between 2008 and 2012, municipal utility Mariupolteploset, one of the biggest heat suppliers in Ukraine, set up three solar fields across Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, with all of them feeding into district heating networks. Other municipalities have also announced the construction of their first solar district heating demonstration systems when modernising local power stations and energy distribution networks.
Photo: Mariupolteploset
 

REN 21: Solar Thermal Contributes Significantly to Hot Water Production

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 30, 2014
top ten 2012According to REN21’s Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, which was published at the UN-hosted Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York at the beginning of June, solar thermal technologies contribute significantly to hot water production in many countries and increasingly to space heating and cooling, as well as industrial processes. REN21 is a global multi-stakeholder network for renewable energy policy, connecting key actors from governments, international organisations, industry associations, science and academia, as well as civil society. First released in 2005, the report provides a comprehensive and timely overview of renewable energy markets, industries, investments and policy developments worldwide. The renewable energy data is provided by an international network of more than 500 contributors, researchers and authors. According to report data, the world added 55.4 GWth (more than 79 million m2) of solar heat capacity in 2012, increasing the cumulative installed capacity of all collector types in operation by over 14 % for a year-end total of 283.4 GWth. The chart above shows the shares in global capacity in operation across 2012’s top ten countries.
Source: Renewables 2014 Global Status Report
 

Europe: 1.19 GW and 15,000 Jobs Lost Since Boom Year of 2008

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 29, 2014
ESTIF Europe TrendIt’s a disaster. There is not much more to say about the statistics of the solar thermal market in Europe. The newly installed capacity dropped again, this time by 11% compared to the previous year, down to 2.14 GWth (see the attached document).  All large markets were shrinking – even Poland and Denmark, whose market volume had grown significantly in 2012. According to the annual studies by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), the sector has lost 1.19 GWth (1.7 million m²) and around 15,000 jobs all across Europe since the boom year of 2008. The study is published once a year at Intersolar in June. Despite the dismal situation, ESTIF pointed out that the average growth rate was 7.6 % over the last 10 years (see the pink line in the chart). 
Figure: ESTIF
 

China/Shandong: China's Biggest Provincial Market to Set New Quality Standards

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 28, 2014
Paradigma 1Shandong is among the Chinese provinces with the most advanced solar thermal industry in China. Simon Goess (left), a researcher from the Netherlands, has recently carried out a number of interviews with stakeholders to understand how the province fosters innovation. The photo shows the interview with Dr Yuwu Li, Head of the Solar Application Product Inspection Laboratory in Shandong's capital city Jinan. Li is also Vice Secretary of the Shandong Solar Energy Industry Association. 
Photo: Liying Cui
 

Europe: 10 Years of Solar Keymark – 1,600 Collector and 220 System Certificates

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 27, 2014
Solar Keymark statisticAt the beginning of June, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation celebrated the 10th anniversary of Solar Keymark at its Intersolar Europe booth in Munich, Germany. Solar Keymark is a well-established certification scheme and label all across Europe and has been viewed as an exemplary model by countries and regions outside Europe as well. Today, there are around 1,600 different certified collectors and about 220 solar thermal systems, all listed in an online database. The chart shows the countries with the highest number of certificates for locally produced or locally offered collectors. China ranks third with 162 Solar Keymark collectors, after Germany (425) and Austria (211). 16 % of the collectors come from outside the 28 EU countries and Switzerland. 
Figure: Solar Keymark 
 

Guatemala: Growth without Subsidies

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 26, 2014
EnersolDespite the total lack of public incentives, the Guatemalan solar thermal market is growing at a steady rate. High electricity prices combined with a welcoming climate and market environment are turning solar thermal into an increasingly attractive technology. One of the country’s main solar thermal installers, Enersol, has been around for almost 30 years and installs both unglazed collector fields for swimming pools (left) and hot water systems for hotels and residential users (right).
Photos: Enersol
 

Romania: Former and Present Environmental Minister Brings Back Green House Programme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 25, 2014
KorodiIt looks like the Romanian solar thermal sector is benefitting from the frequent changes at the head of the country’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, MMSC. During a press conference on 20 May 2014, Attila Korodi, Minister for the Environment since the beginning of March 2014, announced the reactivation of the Green House Programme, Casa Verde, which was halted in 2011. As the former head of the same ministry, Korodi was responsible for the implementation of Casa Verde at the end of 2008. It took some time, however, until the programme could finally start in June 2011. During the press conference, Korodi said that he wanted to review the pending applications from 2011 and planned to subsidise 13,000 systems in 2014. 
Photo: MMSC
 

USA: Solar Hot Water System on Newest High-Rise in San Diego Central

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 24, 2014
CeladonUS-American company Adroit Solar is currently installing a solar hot water system on the newest high-rise in the city centre of San Diego. The 17-storey building called Celadon is scheduled to be completed in early 2015. The solar installation has been subsidised by the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and was one of 285 projects which had applied for subsidies under the category Multi-Family Residential - Low Income over the last 12 months. The picture, which was taken from the onsite crane, shows the solar panels installed on the roof.
Photo: Adroit Solar
 

India: Concentrating Solar Thermal Test Centre and Website

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2014
India test labTwo milestones were reached in the second quarter of 2014 within the initiative Market Development and Promotion of Solar Concentrator Based Process Heat Applications. On 16 April, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) invited stakeholders to the stone-laying ceremony of a testing centre for concentrating solar thermal technology at the University of Pune (see photo). And on 19 May, Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary for Solar at the MNRE, launched www.cshindia.in, a website explaining the basics of concentrating solar thermal technologies and featuring videos of prominent installations for every possible application, i.e., for cooking, process heat and cooling. 
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy
 

Lessons learnt from the first French Case Study on the Integration of a Solar Plant into existing District Heating (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on June 20, 2014

This presentation was given by Châteaubriant’s George Garnier and Tecsol’s Amandine Le Denn at the 2014 International Solar District Heating Conference, held from 3-4 June 2014 in Hamburg, Germany. The speakers outline their efforts to integrate a solar thermal plant into Châteaubriant’s existing district heating system.

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