Worldwide: Rough Estimates Say between 0.5 and 2.2 Million Solar Heating and Cooling Jobs

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2015
IRENA job pie chartData on the number of solar water heating and cooling jobs differs greatly from publication to publication. According to the annual study Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), there were approximately 764,000 people employed in solar heating and cooling globally in 2014, 16 % lower than in 2013 because of the market decline in China. The pie chart shows the distribution among the main markets. The Solar Heat Worldwide 2013 report, published in June 2015 by Austrian research institute AEE INTEC, assumes worldwide employment figures in solar thermal to add up to no more than 460,000 full-time jobs in 2014 (find both studies attached).
Chart: IRENA

Germany: Solar + Heat Pump + Ice Storage Achieves Seasonal Performance Factor of 5.6

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2015
Ice storage ConsalarGerman company Consolar offers a heating system called SOLAERA, which combines a heat pump with a specially designed solar collector and a heat storage space using the latent heat released when water freezes to ice (see photo). The solar heat pump system with 18 m² of collector area, a 300 litre ice storage space and a 1,000 litre buffer tank provides enough energy to heat a well-insulated building in Germany. In a field test by a local environment group, Lokale Agenda 21, it achieved a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 5.6, putting performance even above prior simulations. The SPF describes the ratio of delivered heat to electricity consumed over the entire year. Consolar sold about 160 solar heat pump systems in total, mostly in Germany but also in Denmark, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy. The systems there achieved SPFs between 3.5 and 6, depending on collector field size, maximum flow temperature and heat demand.
Photo: Consolar

MENA: First Online Training Program on Solar Water Heaters Certification

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 21, 2015
SHAMCI TrainingIn March, the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) launched an online training program on the Solar Water Heaters (SWHs) Quality Assurance and Certification Scheme in the Arab region. The training course aims to provide participants with sufficient knowledge on SWH quality and certification schemes, such as the Solar Heating Arab Mark and Certification Initiative (SHAMCI). Participants can register for the training course online. According to the RCREEE, it is the first online training in the Middle East and North Africa region. The implementation of the course was supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Italy: First 18-Months Results of Conto Termico Subsidy Scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 17, 2015
Conto TermicoThe administrator of Italy’s national subsidy scheme Conto Termico, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), counted 9,658 applications over the first 18 months, among them 7,720 which reached the contract phase before the end of 2014. According to a recent GSE study called Performance Report on Conto Termico, solar water heating systems have been the technology of choice for 71 % of the approved applications, followed by biomass boilers with 24.5 %, although the gap between solar thermal and biomass stands wider in the southern regions of Italy (see attached document in Italian). The majority of subsidised solar water heaters have a size below 5 m² of collector area, as can be seen on the chart to the right, which shows all 5,443 approved solar applications. There are only 5 systems above 50 m² among the approved applications.
Figure: GSE 

IEA SHC: Market Report Aggregates 56 Country Statistics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 16, 2015
Solar Heat WorldwideIt is the most comprehensive publication on the global solar water heating market: the annual study Solar Heat Worldwide. On behalf of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC), Austrian research institute AEE INTEC has gathered data on 2013 market development from 56 countries worldwide – covering 95 % of the world market. The institute has asked national stakeholders for newly installed capacity, type of technology and application. Accumulating such detailed information at global level gives a comprehensive overview of the world market for solar heating and cooling. According to an extrapolation of the missing 5 %, installers set up a total capacity of 55 GWth – or 78.6 million m2 of glazed and unglazed solar collectors – in these 56 countries. The pie charts show the growing importance of large domestic hot water applications in multi-family buildings as well as the tourism and public sector (see page 36/37 of the attached study). In 2013, 17 % of the newly installed collector capacity was installed in this segment (right), whereas it only accounts for 9 % of the total installed collector capacity in operation (left). The number of unglazed solar collectors for private swimming pools has diminished worldwide. Although they still make up 6 % of the total capacity, they only contributed 3 % to the new collector capacity in 2013. With 577 MWth (0.8 million m2) of newly installed capacity in 2013, non-residential applications, such as district heating, process heat and cooling, are still a real niche market. 
Source: Solar Heat Worldwide 2013 edition 2015

Russia: Astrakhan’s Solar District Heating Plant

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 15, 2015
Russian InstallationIt is said to be the largest solar thermal plant in Russia: 2,200 collector modules by German heating boiler manufacturer Bosch Thermotechnik have been installed next to a district heating system in Narimanov in the Astrakhan region in southwest Russia. The district heating plant includes 5 new gas boilers from Bosch Thermotechnik with a total of 30 MW. The complete state-of-the-art heat supply unit – gas and solar – was financed by Astrakhan’s regional government. It was commissioned in October 2012 and inaugurated in June 2013 after a fairly short planning time. The existing district heating system with separate pipes for hot water and space heating provides heat for the 11,600 inhabitants of Narimanov. The 4,400 m² collector field feeds into the hot water pipe system. 
Photo: Bosch Thermotechnik

Solar Water Heating (2009)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on June 8, 2015

This is a presentation on solar thermal systems for heating residential water and floors. It was created by WSE Technologies, a solar energy company in Canada, and explains various aspects of solar thermal water and floor heating for individuals who live in Canada. The presentation starts by explaining why evacuated tubes are the best kind of system for dealing with the Canadian climate.

Uzbekistan: State-Owned Utility to Increase Solar Thermal Deployment

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 8, 2015
UzbekistanUzbekistan’s government is exploring its solar options to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuel imports. The central Asian state with 31 million inhabitants is an oil-producing nation, but because national demand is higher than production, it still has to import some of its oil. Located in an arid and sunny region, the country has an extreme continental climate. The Uzbek government is planning to install 300 solar collectors in different cities during 2015 and 2016 and has put state-owned utility Uzbekenergo in charge of implementing the programme. 
Map: Wikimedia Commons

Experiences in Solar Water Heater Markets in Europe and Scope for Collaboration with India (2015)

Submitted by Francesco Gattiglio on June 4, 2015

This document was presented by Gerhard Stryi-Hipp of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE at the RE-INVEST Conference held in New Delhi, India, on 17 February 2015.

Worldwide: IRENA Assesses Realisable Economic Potential of Solar Process Heat in 2030

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2015
IRENA Industry Energy DemandIndustrial renewable energy deployment is lagging behind renewable installations in the construction sector – this was one of the key findings of the REmap 2030 study carried out by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in June 2014 to identify measures that could double the share of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030. To close the knowledge gap, the IRENA Innovation and Technology Center in Bonn, Germany, has published a technology roadmap focusing on the potential of renewables in manufacturing businesses worldwide. In contrast to REmap 2030, which had followed a bottom-up approach aggregating 26 country studies, the current roadmap, Renewable Energy Options For the Industry Sector: Global and Regional Potential until 2030 from March 2015 took a top-down approach (see the attached documents): The first step was to identify the energy demand in the industrial sector worldwide and the second to analyse the technical and realisable economic potential in this segment for four renewable technologies: solar thermal, heat pumps, biomass and geothermal. The pie chart shows the breakdown of 2009’s final energy demand from the global industry sector of 128 Exajoule (EJ). Some of the blue pie slice can be covered by solar thermal. 
Chart: IRENA