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.

Colombia: New Law Promises Tax Incentives

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 17, 2014
Hotel Plaza ColombiaA new law has just provided the framework to offer renewable tax incentives in Colombia. The law will now be followed by a decree, which is expected to be finalised within less than a year and will specify the objectives and support measures for different renewable energy technologies. Still, some companies are currently seeing the market grow even without any incentives in place, especially in the hotel and healthcare sector. The photo shows a field of 150 collectors on the roof of the Hotel Plaza in Bogotá. The system covers more than 40 % of the hotel’s hot water demand.
Photo: GIE

Solar Thermal Cooling: Technology, Cost and Case Study (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 16, 2014

IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, together with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus organized an event on renewable energy applications for island tourism.  During this 2-day conference, Panagiotis Tsekouras, Mechanical Engineer at CRES, the Greek Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Savings, reported on solar thermal cooling in the tourism industry.  It shows that the use of solar thermal energy for cooling system helps saving money, reducing the electricity use by 87% and is a big step towards green tourism.

Spain: Market Rebounds after Years-Long Struggle

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 16, 2014
Spain market developmentLast year, the Spanish solar thermal market showed signs of recovery for the first time since 2009. According to the latest report by the Spanish solar thermal industry association, ASIT, newly installed capacity grew by 1.5 % in 2013 compared to the previous year (see the attached document). This growth was mainly the result of a seemingly recovering construction sector and of incentives granted by regional governments, such as Andalusia. Recent changes to the most important renewable energy law, however, may threaten the consolidation of these first green successes. 
Source: ASIT

Sweden: New Solar-Heated Residential Area in Vallda Heberg

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 15, 2014
Vallda Heberg Main Heating PlantSolar district heating may still be in its infancy, but more and more projects across Europe are starting to showcase its great potential. Speakers at the second International Solar District Heating Conference, which took place in Hamburg, Germany, on 3 and 4 June 2014, presented and analysed several solar district heating designs, as well as their successful implementation. For example, Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, Professor at the Chalmers University of Technology, shared the first performance results of the solar thermal systems at the new solar-heated residential area in Vallda Heberg, Sweden. The photo shows the main heating station with 108 m² vacuum tube collectors in its facade. 
Photo: Calmers University of Technology

Optimization of a Low Temperature Solar District Heating System by Integrating Space and Domestic Hot Water Loads (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 11, 2014

This presentation on the optimization of a low temperature solar district heating system was given by Canmet ENERGY at the 2nd International Solar District Heating Conference in Hamburg in June 2014.  After a short introduction on Solar District Heating in Canada, the presentation focuses mainly on the only solar district heating site nationwide, named Drake Landing,  and shares information on its capacity, performances and technology.  The speaker also provides the results of a comparison study where domestic hot water is supplied by a standalone SDHW like the one in Drake Landi