El Salvador: Small Market with Growth Potential

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 4, 2014
El SalvadorDespite its relatively small population of 6.2 million inhabitants and its total area of barely 21,000 km², which is half the size of The Netherlands, El Salvador shows potential for growth: The solar thermal market in the Central American country offers opportunities both at public health units and in the hotel sector. The country’s high fossil fuel dependency (41 % of its electricity is generated using diesel), high irradiation and lofty electricity prices (around 0.2 USD/kWh) are creating an increasingly attractive market for technologies such as solar water heating. A new energy efficiency law is underway and may provide extra incentives for solar thermal technologies. The photo shows a hot water system at the Hospital de Diagnòstico in San Salvador.
Photo: Tecnosolar
 

Europe: Energy Security Strategy to Improve Relevance of Renewable Heating

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2014
ESTIFThe European Commission has now published its Communication on Energy Security, which proposes a set of immediate actions to address the current crisis, but mostly concentrates on other measures to be implemented in the longer term. The proposed actions include "an accelerated fuel switch in the heating sector to renewable heating technologies". In a press release from 30 May 2014, ESTIF, AEBIOM, EGEC, the industry associations representing the solar thermal, biomass and geothermal sector, respectively, welcomed the priority given to renewable heating in the Commission’s Communication on Energy Security strategy.
Photo: ESTIF
 

Uruguay: New Solar Thermal Regulations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 3, 2014
Uruguay regulatiosSince 14 May 2014, Uruguay has had technical specifications for solar thermal installations. It was on this very day that the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mines approved the first edition of the Especificaciones Técnicas Uruguayas (ETUS), the Uruguayan Technical Specifications for all registered solar thermal installations in the country. These requirements are obligatory for all public buildings and all public enterprises, such as the state energy utility UTE, the National Administration of Telecommunications, ANTEL, and state-owned oil, cement and gas supplier ANCAP, as well as for residential installations by homeowners or solar systems at private companies, such as hotels or hospitals. The photo shows a thermosiphon system which was installed under the requirements of Mesa Solar which includes the same requirements as ETUS for thermosiphon systems.
Photo: Eliseo Cabrera
 

Denmark: Dronninglund Inaugurates 26 MWth Solar District Heating Plant

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2014
Dronninglund1The world’s currently largest solar district heating plant was inaugurated in Dronninglund, Denmark, on 2 May this year. The photo shows Carsten Møller Nielsen, Board Chairman at Dronninglund Fjernvarme, welcoming Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building (to the left of the speaker). The system consists of 2,982 collectors with a total solar thermal capacity of 26 MWth (37,573 m²) and a 61,700 m³ seasonal pit heat storage and is planned to provide about 15,000 MWh per year. Its output will meet half of the annual heat demand of the plant’s 1,350 customers. According to the local district heating supplier Dronninglund Fjernvarme, the total investment costs for the plant amounted to DKK 106 million (EUR 14.6 million), of which EUR 6.1 million were invested in the solar installation (see the chart below). The plant was subsidised by the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program, EUDP, which supported the project with Danish Krone (DKK) 21 million (EUR 2.953 Mio). The payback period is said to be 25 years. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Søren Elisiussen, CEO at Arcon Solar, which delivered the collectors and the support structure for the solar field, about the plant’s technical specifications.
Photo: Arcon Solar
 

Austria: Solar Process Heat Cheaper than Oil Boiler

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 31, 2014
Berger The solar process heat plant at Fleischwaren Berger in Sieghartskirchen, Austria, went into operation in July 2013. With its 1,067 m² of high-temperature flat plate collectors, it pre-heats water for steam and hot water production. According to calculations by Austrian company SOLID, which was responsible for the planning and the turnkey installation, the solar plant can deliver usable heat at lower costs than the existing oil boiler over a 25-year period and with a favourable interest rate. 
Photo: Green Foods
 

Position Paper : Renewables for Heating and Cooling and EU Security of Supply: Save over 20 Billion Euro Annually in Reduced Fossil Fuels Imports (May 2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on May 30, 2014

AEBIOM (European Biomass Association), ESTIF (European Solar Thermal Industry Federation) and EGEC (European Geothermal Energy Council) have issued a joint position paper on renewables for heating and cooling and EU security of supply.  This paper focuses on 5 key issues.

The first issue is the security of supply as the EU relies mainly on gas supply from Russia (31% for industrial process and 41 % for heating of buildings).

China: “There is close cooperation between the provincial government, the association and the industry in Shandong”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 30, 2014
ChenWhen it comes to which Chinese region has the highest number of solar thermal manufacturers, Shandong is second only to Zhejiang. Both are coastal provinces in Eastern China. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Anxiang Chen, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shandong Solar Energy Industry Association and CEO of solar water heater manufacturer Auhua Clean Energy, about the market development in Shandong. The development and implementation of energy-efficient and renewable water heating solutions is the core business of Auhua Clean Energy, a company whose 300 employees work in two factories in Jinan and Rushan, both located in Shandong province. The pie chart below was published by the Chinese Solar Thermal Industry Federation (CSTIF) in the Report on the Development of China’s Solar Thermal Industry (2008-2010) and shows the share of solar thermal manufacturers by province (2,800 in total).
Photo: Auhua Clean Energy
 

Poland: Four Reasons Why Prosument is Off to a Bad Start

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 29, 2014
On 25 May, the new Polish incentive programme Prosument began to accept applications from municipalities. By August 2014, the same will be true for residential homeowners. Prosument offers grants worth 20 % of the investment costs, grants which can be combined with a 1 % interest loan to finance the remaining investment. The latest changes by the programme’s administrator, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, NFOŚiGW, have been met with strong criticism. Grzegorz Wiśniewski, President of the Institute for Renewable Energy (EC BREC IEO), has said that the current conditions of the programme would lead to a drastic drop in sales.
 

Sweden: High Internal Rates of Return Attract Investors

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 28, 2014
Absolicon CalculatorSwedish company Absolicon Solar Concentrator has developed a Solar Energy Calculator to enable commercial clients to determine the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) when purchasing and operating solar thermal systems with collector areas of between 500 and 5,000 m². “We were influenced by the PV sector, where customers are much more used to assessing solar investments based on the cash flow over the economic life of the system than based on the payback period,” CEO Joakim Byström explains. Byström founded Absolicon, a producer of concentrating process heat collectors. According to Byström’s experiences, many projects with long payback periods fare much better if you calculate the IRR. The Solar Energy Calculator, which is available online on the company´s website, has already been used by 70 potential clients from all around the world over the last 10 months.
 

Applications of UNEP’s Strategy: Engaging Local Bank for Lending (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on May 27, 2014

During an event organized earlier this year by IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency,   Myriem Touhami, Program Manager, at the Energy Unit of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economic, presented the applications of UNEP’s strategy to engage local bank for lending.

Pages