Industrial 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.
The solar thermal market worldwide is facing great challenges. After decades of concentrating on the single family housing owner as the key client group, now the industry is reaching out to new commercial customer groups in the tourism segment, in the housing industry and in the industrial sector. New business models to reduce upfront costs and risk for clients are absolutely essential to accelerate the deployment of solar thermal technology in these segments. To learn more about the realizable economic potential of solar heating technology in the commercial segment, and to discuss new business models, solarthermalworld.org offers a webinar in cooperation with International Solar Energy Society (ISES) on Tuesday 23 June 2015 at 3 to 4:30 pm Central European Summer Time.
Eighteen solar heat projects have profited from the national incentive scheme, Solcasa, in Spain since May 2010. The programme has been offering low-interest loans to Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), which install, operate and maintain solar thermal installations to sell their solar gains to customers, such as hotels or multi-family building owners. To date, the administrator of Solcasa, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, IDAE, has granted loans of EUR 2.09 million to 18 projects totalling 2.32 MWth. The photo shows the roof installation owned and operated by Spanish company Sumersol at the nursing home in Villafranca de los Caballeros, a town in eastern Spain.
Finally, solar district heating has reached Italy too: Utility Varese Risorse, which is part of the environmental multi-utility group A2A, brought its solar thermal plant into operation on 19 May. The idea for this project, which also came about thanks to support from Intelligent Energy Europe project SDHplus, was from 2013 when the utility began to show interest in using solar to lower the natural gas consumption of its district heating grid in summer. Staff members of Varese Risorse took part in the SDHplus training course and benefitted from initial feasibility calculations for the solar plant. The collector field of 990 m² has been set up across eight collector rows, seven of which were mounted onto the ground, and one onto the roof of a small technical building, which also houses the heat exchanger and the control unit (see photo).
The European Solar Days (ESD) seem to have lost some momentum. Since the European Union stopped co-financing the ESD, it seems that several national partners among the so far more than 20 participating countries have found it harder to get monetary support for their work and all of the activities required for coordinating the Solar Days campaign at national level. Still, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has been able to agree with several previously participating countries on a common schedule from 1 to 15 May. Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Poland and Serbia have already told ESTIF about their activities in May (see the table below). Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia and Spain, however, will not offer any solar days this year. The photo shows an event in an primary school in Switzerland
How can solar energy be ideally integrated into an urban energy system? This has been the key question of IEA SHC Task 52: Solar Heat and Energy Economics in Urban Environments. One and a half years after the task´s start in January 2014, scientists from Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland met in Freiburg for the third task meeting in mid-April to discuss cost assessments of existing plants and models for analysing complex urban energy systems. One of the first published outcomes is a study carried out by Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. It lists the costs of existing solar district heating plants in Denmark, Germany and Austria. The chart shows the preliminary results from levelised heat costs calculated for 29 collector fields of sizes between 500 and 55,000 m² integrated into district or micro grids.
After San Francisco, Freiburg and Beijing, it is now Istanbul’s turn to host the next international conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, SHC 2015, from 2 to 4 December 2015. This year, the IEA SHC is partnering with the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, ESTIF, and GÜNDER, the Turkish Section of the International Solar Energy Society. As in previous years, the conference will be organised by German service provider PSE. The recently started call for papers accepts submissions until 6 July 2015. Three conference chairs (from left) – Bülent Yeşilata (GÜNDER), Pedro Dias (ESTIF) and Daniel Mugnier (IEA SHC) – and a conference committee are in charge of setting up a conference programme which will cover a large variety of topics.
The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) has organised a consultation meeting with the Union of Tyre Municipalities (UOTM) to discuss the implementation of a solar ordinance in the south of Lebanon. The workshop took place in the Platinum Hotel in the city of Tyre on 9 May under the patronage of Abdel Mohsen El Husseini, President of the UOTM. This consultation meeting was a follow-up to a series of bilateral talks with individual municipalities to introduce and promote the implementation of a solar obligation at municipality level. With its 60 municipalities, the UOTM is committed to adopting a solar obligation in the framework of a pilot project.
The Jordan Minister of Environment, Dr Taher Shakhshir, inaugurated the first solar steam system in Jordan on 17 May 2015. The Fresnel collector plant was set up on the roof of pharmaceuticals producer Ram Pharma, located at the Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein Industrial Estate about 15 km away from Amman, Jordan’s capital. The concentrating Fresnel collectors manufactured by Industrial Solar, Germany, supply steam at 160 °C to the factory’s steam grid, which provides the energy needed for sterilisation, drying and fermenting. Solar energy is said to save around 30 % of the annual diesel demand for Ram Pharma processes.