Colombia: New Law Promises Tax Incentives

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 17, 2014
Hotel Plaza ColombiaA new law has just provided the framework to offer renewable tax incentives in Colombia. The law will now be followed by a decree, which is expected to be finalised within less than a year and will specify the objectives and support measures for different renewable energy technologies. Still, some companies are currently seeing the market grow even without any incentives in place, especially in the hotel and healthcare sector. The photo shows a field of 150 collectors on the roof of the Hotel Plaza in Bogotá. The system covers more than 40 % of the hotel’s hot water demand.
Photo: GIE

Solar Thermal Cooling: Technology, Cost and Case Study (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 16, 2014

IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, together with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus organized an event on renewable energy applications for island tourism.  During this 2-day conference, Panagiotis Tsekouras, Mechanical Engineer at CRES, the Greek Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Savings, reported on solar thermal cooling in the tourism industry.  It shows that the use of solar thermal energy for cooling system helps saving money, reducing the electricity use by 87% and is a big step towards green tourism.

Spain: Market Rebounds after Years-Long Struggle

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 16, 2014
Spain market developmentLast year, the Spanish solar thermal market showed signs of recovery for the first time since 2009. According to the latest report by the Spanish solar thermal industry association, ASIT, newly installed capacity grew by 1.5 % in 2013 compared to the previous year (see the attached document). This growth was mainly the result of a seemingly recovering construction sector and of incentives granted by regional governments, such as Andalusia. Recent changes to the most important renewable energy law, however, may threaten the consolidation of these first green successes. 
Source: ASIT

Sweden: New Solar-Heated Residential Area in Vallda Heberg

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 15, 2014
Vallda Heberg Main Heating PlantSolar district heating may still be in its infancy, but more and more projects across Europe are starting to showcase its great potential. Speakers at the second International Solar District Heating Conference, which took place in Hamburg, Germany, on 3 and 4 June 2014, presented and analysed several solar district heating designs, as well as their successful implementation. For example, Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, Professor at the Chalmers University of Technology, shared the first performance results of the solar thermal systems at the new solar-heated residential area in Vallda Heberg, Sweden. The photo shows the main heating station with 108 m² vacuum tube collectors in its facade. 
Photo: Calmers University of Technology

Optimization of a Low Temperature Solar District Heating System by Integrating Space and Domestic Hot Water Loads (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 11, 2014

This presentation on the optimization of a low temperature solar district heating system was given by Canmet ENERGY at the 2nd International Solar District Heating Conference in Hamburg in June 2014.  After a short introduction on Solar District Heating in Canada, the presentation focuses mainly on the only solar district heating site nationwide, named Drake Landing,  and shares information on its capacity, performances and technology.  The speaker also provides the results of a comparison study where domestic hot water is supplied by a standalone SDHW like the one in Drake Landi

Ukraine: Political Instability Hurts Business

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 11, 2014
AfrosUkraine’s solar thermal market has been adversely affected by the country’s currently very unstable economic, political and social situation. The industry agrees that customers are cautious about spending money during politically and socially uncertain times. Solar thermal stakeholders also note that one of the failures of the government and of politics in general has been to not follow through with laws, projects and promises, something which has almost become a tradition in every field, including renewables. spoke with some of the collector manufacturers and importers about their business situation in times of widespread instability. 
Photo: Afros

Integrating Solar Thermal in Buildings – A Quick Guide for Architects and Builders (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 9, 2014

This guide was written as part of the Global Solar Water Heating (GSWH) Market Transformation and Strengthening Initiative, which is the result of a joint collaboration between the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation and the Global Environment Fund (GEF) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Bulgaria: Experts Discuss Solar Thermal at Renewable Energies in Buildings Conference

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 9, 2014
Uwe TrenknerOnce again, Bulgaria is facing political turmoil, with early elections due to take place in autumn. The outgoing cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has been embroiled in fierce disputes with both the conventional and the renewable energy sector. For example, when the government had tried to keep electricity prices low for political reasons, no public or private utility affected by the government’s decision received any kind of compensation for its losses. On 17 June, German and Bulgarian renewable energy experts and business representatives, among them solar thermal system manufacturers, gathered for the Renewable Energies in Buildings conference organised by the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Uwe Trenkner, a former Secretary General of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, used the conference to speak about solar heating and solar cooling for buildings. “Obviously, the solar heat market in Bulgaria isn’t doing so well,” he said regretfully.
Photo: Frank Stier 

Hawaii/California: Sopogy Goes into Liquidation after More than a Decade in Business

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 7, 2014
After the Hawaiian manufacturer of parabolic trough systems, Sopogy, has stopped operations, its assets are now being liquidated as well. According to Pacific Business News (PBN), an attorney based in Los Angeles is handling the insolvency proceedings. While the PBN news piece was published in April 2014, Sopogy’s main phone line had already been out of service when German agency solrico carried out its research for the World Map of Solar Process Heat Collector Industry in late 2013. In the meantime, the company´s website has also been taken offline.

The Gaby Project: Large Scale Solar Plant for Chilean Copper Mines (2014)

Submitted by Chris Heron on July 4, 2014

This presentation was given by Sunmark Solutions’ Leo Holm at the International Solar District Heating Conference, held from 3-4 June in Hamburg, Germany. The speaker explains how his company built a large scale solar plant, the Pampa Elvira Solar Project, on one of CODELCO’s mining operations in Gabriela Mistral in the middle of the Atacama desert in Chile where weather conditions can be extreme.