Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive: The First Step to Transforming the Way we Heat our Homes (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on February 4, 2014

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change has issued a guidance document on the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) program which is expected to be launched in the spring of 2014.  This program is a financial support scheme for renewable heat, such as air source heat pumps, biomass systems, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal energy.  The financial aid will be paid to the owner of the heating system for a period of seven years.


USA: New York State Subsidy Scheme Shows Satisfied, But Too Little Applicants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 4, 2014
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has approved 565 applications and has paid grants for 490 solar water heater installations since the start of the solar thermal support scheme in January 2011. The chart shows the programme’s monthly application activity. December 2013 was an exception, because “there was one large project, consisting of 28 applications for a complex that is part of the 50+ applications in this particular month,” Marci Brunner explained. The Associate Project Manager at NYSERDA gave an update on the programme during the January conference call of the Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance, a division of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Montenegro: Montesol is dead, long live Montesol!

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 3, 2014
Montesol, the expired credit line for the installation of solar water heaters in Montenegrin households, may be extended, according to a source at Montenegro’s Directorate for Energy Efficiency (DoEE). In July 2011, the second phase of Montesol was launched as a joint project between the Montenegrin Ministry of Economy, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS). Initially, it was thought to end on 31 October 2013. “First, we signed an extension to the partnership agreement with the UNEP to extend the programme until 31 December 2013. Now, we are working on an amendment in order to continue Montesol´s implementation,” a DoEE spokesperson replied to a media enquiry, without giving specific information about the future conditions and terms of the Montesol programme. 

Solar Vision 2025. Beyond Market Competitiveness – Canadian Solar Industries Association (2010)

Submitted by Chris Heron on February 3, 2014

This report issued by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) gives an overview of the evolution of the solar energy market in Canada until 2025.  The report covers both the solar photovoltaic and the solar thermal sectors.

For the solar thermal sector, CanSIA believes that by 2025 the solar thermal industry can reach a capacity between 8 GWth and 15 GWth and has identified 3 different scenarios. 


Germany: Additional Support for Small Solar Cooling Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 3, 2014
Since January 2014, companies have been able to receive grants for their thermal-driven sorption cooling systems with a cooling power between 5 kW and 500 kW from the programme for commercial cooling technology in Germany. Until 2013, the minimum cooling power for the programme had been 50 kW. The Federal Environment Ministry published the amendment on 16 December 2013 (see the attached document). The programme supports solar thermal cooling, but also cooling systems driven by other green heat sources, such as industrial waste heat, cogeneration plants and district heating. The subsidy is 25% of the net investment for the cooling system, including installation and consulting costs. 
Source: Green Chiller

Thailand: Ministry of Energy Extends Incentive Programme until 2021

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 2, 2014
Thailand’s solar water heater subsidy programme, which started in 2008, will continue until 2021. The subsidy will gradually decrease from currently 25% of the investment costs to 15% in 2017. The programme is part of Thailand’s revised Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP), which was presented by Kulwaree Buranasajjawaraporn, Director of the solar energy section’s Innovation Group at the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), during the Thai-German Technology Conference in Bangkok in October 2013. The table shows the annual target figure and the results of the DEDE subsidy scheme and was taken from the presentation of Mrs Buranasajjawaraporn.
Source: DEDE

Germany: Solites Presents Online Calculator for Solar District Heating Systems

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 2, 2014

December 2013 saw the launch of the online calculator for solar thermal district heating systems. Its basic analysis helps users to determine whether a solar district heating system could be an interesting choice for a given project. The German Heat & Power Association, AGFW, provided information about the target group’s requirements for such a tool. The calculator was developed by Solites, Germany, and financed by the German Federal Environment Ministry under the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) project SDHtake-off and a national project for multi-purpose heat storage systems.
Screenshot: Solites


Italy: New Regulations for All Incentive Schemes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 30, 2014
The new Italian budget Law 147 from December 2013 also includes important chapters on renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations. The law extends both the 65% tax deduction for energy efficiency measures and the 50% tax deduction for building renovations until the end of 2014. From 2015 on, the deductible share of both schemes will gradually decrease to 36%. The law also anticipates the revision of the new incentive mechanism for renewable heating systems and energy efficiency measures (Conto Termico). In addition, energy authority GSE revised the implementation rules of the Conto Termico programme at the beginning of December 2013, but Italy’s associations complain that the new incentive scheme is still struggling to take off due to excess bureaucracy.

Germany/Saudi Arabia: Fraunhofer ISE and KA CARE Sign Collaboration Framework Agreement

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 28, 2014
King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, KA CARE, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Fraunhofer ISE, based in Freiburg, Germany, have jointly announced the signing of a Collaboration Framework Agreement, which will serve as a basis for various collaborations between the two organisations over the next years. According to a press release by Fraunhofer ISE, the joint projects will include renewable energy research and development, as well as testing and training. The photo shows Dr Mahar Alodan, KA CARE, (left) and Prof Dr Eicke R Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE, during the signing ceremony, which took place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, at the World Future Energy Summit’s German Pavilion on 20 January 2014. 
Photo: Fraunhofer ISE

USA: GoSolar at SEIA’s Birthday

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 27, 2014
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has just celebrated “four decades of successful advocacy”. On 24 January 1974, “five industry people met in the noisy basement of the Washington Hilton hotel to discuss the possibility of establishing an association for the nascent solar energy industry,” recalls a text on the organisation´s website. Therefore, SEIA organised an official birthday event on Friday 24 January 2014, exactly forty years later, and initiated a national Shout Out for Solar Day on this very anniversary. The banner is a screenshot from the campaign website: