The Value of Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) in Minnesota: Solar Thermal and Minnesota Energy and Climate Goals (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on May 9, 2014

This study on the value of solar heating and cooling, commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, analyses how solar thermal energy can help the state in reaching the climate and energy goals  of reducing greenhouse gases emissions by 80% by 2050 and relying on renewable energy to produce 25% of electricity by 2025.  In order to achieve these goals a series of measures have to be put in place, such as addressing market barriers, increasing investment in solar thermal technologies by creating or expanding incentives and innovative financial options, reducing soft costs or raising a

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International Energy Agency : Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on May 8, 2014

During the annual Research Review of the Australian PV Institutes (APVI), held in November 2013, Ken Guthrie, Deputy Chair of the IEA SHC Executive Committee, gave a presentation on the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the IEA.

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Austria: Search for Innovative Incentive Schemes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 7, 2014
AEE studyAustria has a leading position in solar energy use worldwide. 3.5 GWth (5 million m²) of solar thermal capacity had been installed in total until the end of 2012. Based on the specific collector area per inhabitant, Austria ranks third after Cyprus and Israel. The key factor for the country’s success has been the mix of incentive and R&D programmes, as well as awareness-raising campaigns since the mid-1980s. In one area, however, these measures have not succeeded: The system prices for the end consumer have remained unchanged and have not followed the cost reduction curve of the photovoltaic sector. This is why the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) had mandated AEE Intec, the Austrian Institute for Sustainable Technologies, to carry out a stakeholder survey in order to develop innovative incentive instruments which could give fresh impetus to increases in price performance ratios of solar thermal systems of all sizes.
 
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Germany: Intersolar Europe and Solar District Heating Conference Cover Numerous Topics

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 7, 2014
Intersolar EuropeTwo international conferences on solar heating and cooling will take place in Germany at the beginning of June: the Intersolar Europe Conference in Munich from 2 to 4 June 2014 and the Solar District Heating Conference in Hamburg on 3 and 4 June 2014. Both event organisers have now published the complete programme. 
Photo: Intersolar Europe
 
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IEA Study: “Renewable energy for heat deserves greater attention”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 6, 2014

In April, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published the paper “Heating Without Global Warming. Market Development and Policy Considerations for Renewable Heat”. The 92-page study looks at today’s renewable energy use for heat and at its future prospects and development needs (see the attached document). The IEA study is an important document, because it has been the first IEA publication focusing on the renewable heating sector for five years and it includes the three technologies bioenergy, solar thermal and geothermal. Paolo Frankl, Head of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Division in Paris, France, had already announced the study at the international conference SHC 2013 in Freiburg last year. “We want to raise the attention for renewable heat technologies in the policy arena through analysing and making scenarios,” Frankl explained in an interview with solarthermalworld.org.
Source: IEA

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Ukraine/Georgia: Women for a Sunny Energy Supply in EECCA

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 5, 2014
WECFEnergy poverty is a widespread phenomenon throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). Many poor people living in these regions can hardly pay the ever-rising electricity costs. To heat their houses in winter, they are often forced to burn wood, diesel or any other thing they can find, such as plastic - with all the harmful impacts on the environment. “Switch to the sun – live in comfort!” is what activists of Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) tell them in such a situation. WECF, an international non-governmental network of women’s and environmental organisations, is committed to helping people in rural areas in the Ukraine, Georgia and other countries of the EECCA region gain a sustainable energy supply, mainly by utilising solar water heaters. The photo shows the participants of a workshop with the newly built solar water heater in the city of Kamensk-Uralsk, Russia.
Photo: WECF/Ecoclub Ukraine
 
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Solarthermalworld.org Offers New and Advanced Search Tool

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 5, 2014
Solarthermalworld.org is worldwide one of the largest websites dedicated to solar heating and cooling. Since its creation in 2008, the web portal has grown into a database of around 3,500 news articles, scientific papers, studies and presentations on a wide range of topics. With 12,000 unique visitors a month and 6,000 subscribers to the monthly newsletter, solarthermalworld.org reaches a high number of industry professionals, scientists, experts from planning institutes, as well as public officials. Since April 2014, an advanced search tool has also helped visitors to quickly find relevant topics, projects, technologies, markets and trends (see the column on the left).
 
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Germany: Insolvency of Long-Standing Collector Manufacturer

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 5, 2014
Wagner SolarThe news about the insolvency of Wagner & Co Solartechnik in April has shocked the German solar thermal sector. The appointed preliminary insolvency administrator, Dr Jan Markus Plathner, solicitor at Brinkmann & Partner, stated in a press release that Wagner initiated insolvency procedures on 22 April 2014. The company, which was founded in 1979, is one of the longest-lived solar thermal system suppliers in Germany. It has been producing collectors for almost 30 years and has sold more than 1 million m² of collector area. The company is well-known for its highly efficient collectors with anti-reflective coating on the glass cover, which achieved excellent results during the tests by Germany’s consumer organisation, Stiftung Warentest. Wagner also made headlines for its zero-emission collector factory, which was inaugurated in 2008 (see photo) and for the second highly efficient office building opened in 2012. Another particular characteristic of the company is its shareholding structure: Wagner is fully owned by its employees.
Photo: Wagner
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Uruguay: Raising Awareness and Quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 3, 2014
Uruguay Solar InstallationUruguay’s solar thermal market is growing slowly, but it is growing – thanks to a residential subsidy scheme and a government decree. The scheme, which started in March 2012, has so far subsidised a solar water heater in almost 1,000 households with between 40 and 70% of the investment costs. The decree, Decreto No 451/011, stipulates a 50% solar hot water share in sport clubs, hospitals and hotels for both newly built and soon-to-be-renovated buildings, a move that has already helped to install several larger systems. The photos show a case study of a larger system installed on the roof of the Lawn Tennis Club in Montevideo. The flat plate collectors from company Alejandro Baroni were manufactured locally. 
Photos: Andrés Eliseo Cabrera
 
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Designing Solar Thermal Systems for Architectural Integration (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on May 2, 2014

This report, from the IEA SHC Task 41 Solar Energy and Architecture, provides a series of criteria and guidelines for product and system developers in order to design solar thermal systems which integrate into the overall architecture of buildings. 

The document focuses on general architectural integration issues and gives recommendations on system development.  It analyses 3 solar thermal technologies (glazed flat plate, unglazed flat plates and evacuated tubes collectors) and explain which options to consider to integrate them in the building architecture.

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