Egypt: Green Star Hotels “Download” the Sun

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 9, 2014
At the end of November, participants of a workshop in Munich, Germany, debated Egypt’s attempt at making the most use of the sunlight available in the country. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria organised a one-day seminar, offering presentations on energy and renewable policy in the North-African country. 35 participants from solar thermal and solar PV system suppliers, consultancies and institutions used the opportunity to learn more about the important role of solar energy in Egypt and the 100,000 green hotel rooms programme. The figure shows the slogan “Download the Sun”, which had already been adopted in several event in 2013. 
Figure: GIZ

Austria: Value Engineering Reduces Material Costs by Up to 25 %

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 8, 2014
Austrian Greiner Technology & Innovation (GTI) has developed a catalogue of cost-efficient measures which have helped the company achieve a significant decrease in material costs of up to 25 % for common aluminium-framed flat plate collectors with a laser-welded aluminium/copper absorber. GTI applied the value engineering methodology from the automotive sector to solar thermal collectors, which has reduced material costs by 0.05 €/Wp. 

South Korea: Renewable Building Obligation Increases Market Size

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 8, 2014
At the end of December 2013, South Korea published the official 2012 statistics for the national solar thermal market. The country saw the installation of an additional 63,774 m² of glazed collector area – a plus of 17 % compared to 2011 (see detailed 2011 statistics) and a decrease by 9% compared to 2010. The chart shows the share of the different installation sizes in the newly installed collector area in 2012. Every fifth collector was part of a solar thermal field of more than 300 m² – definitely a high number. Only one-third of the total market volume was installed as part of small units with less than 12 m2. All state subsidy schemes and obligations mandate collector certification. According to industry representatives, there is an unofficial market with non-certified systems, whose size is difficult to estimate. 
Source: Korea New & Renewable Energy Center (KNREC)

India: Ministry Presents Awards to Eight Solar Thermal Manufacturers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 7, 2014
On 17 December 2014, the Indian Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, presented in New Delhi awards to the most successful Channel Partners of the national solar thermal subsidy scheme. In front of around 250 participants from policy, industry and media, Dr Abdullah (third from right) announced the ten winners of National Solar Thermal Awards in the solar water heater category and, for the first time, in the category of concentrating solar thermal (CST) collectors. The awards recognised manufacturers achieving the highest total sales, the highest growth rates, the best dealer network and the highest export rates (see the table below).
Photo: Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy

China: 2013 Market Statistics and Trends

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 6, 2014
In cooperation with the China Association of Rural Energy Industry (CAREI), the China Solar Thermal Industry Federation (CSTIF) held its annual meeting in Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong Province, on 6 and 7 December. The annual meeting is a two-day conference during which industry representatives talk about market and technology development. One of the key speakers was Zhentao Luo, former Chairman of CSTIF, who presented the 2013 market statistics. According to the preliminary CSTIF data, the newly installed collector area was 66 million m² (46.2 GWth), which means an increase of only 3.3%. The share of replaced collector area was 47 %, so that the total installed collector area increased to 310 million m² (217 GWth).
Photo: CSTIF

Austria: Large-Scale Solar Plants Subsidy Scheme Shows Increase in Average System Sizes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 3, 2014
2013 was already the fourth year for the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund’s subsidy scheme for large-scale solar systems.The demand for it was also still great: All in all, 37 projects profited from a total subsidy amount of about EUR 4.5 million (see the attached document). 18 of these projects were accompanied by case studies. The programme subsidises large-scale solar plants across the following application areas: solar process heat (6 systems), solar feed-ins into heat networks (11 systems), high solar coverage (15 systems), solar-supported air conditioning in combination with warm water and heating (4 systems), as well as new technologies and innovative approaches (1 system). The pie chart shows the shares of the aforementioned applications in the total subsidised collector area.
Source: Klima- und Energiefonds

France: Debate about Planned Tax Credit Reductions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 31, 2013
In 2013, all indicators are flashing red! According to the sales statistics from Uniclima, the French union for the heating, cooling and ventilation industry, the newly installed collector area is expected to shrink to around 200,000 m² in 2013. All three major segments of the market declined. Uniclima estimates hot water systems for single-family houses (CESI in French) to have dropped by 21% and combi systems for single-family houses (SSC in French) to have shrunk by 15%. For the first time after 2010, the segment of multi-family houses with larger solar thermal systems (ESC in French) seems to have also reduced in volume by 13%. The situation was quite different over the last two years, when the decline in the single-family housing market was offset by a strong increase in the multi-family building segment. 
Source: Enerplan for 2007 to 2011, Uniclima for 2012 and 2013

Spain: Andalusia Pushes Solar Water Heating Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 30, 2013
Despite the decline in the Spanish solar thermal market, some regions have recently been recovering and even growing steadily, such as Andalusia. The region offers direct subsidies of up to 40% of the costs for private and commercial investments in solar water heating systems. It expects to keep these subsidies over the next years, but greater efforts are needed to also add new client groups, such as hotels and businesses. The Spanish solar thermal industry association, ASIT, expects Andalusia to finish 2013 with more than 60,000 m² of newly installed collector area, which is 30 % of the Spanish total market volume in a region that is home to merely 17% of the country’s total population. 
Source: Energy Agency of Andalusia

Solar Energy in Urban Environment: How Urban Densification Effect Existing Buildings (2013)

Submitted by Chris Heron on December 27, 2013

At the SHC 2013 conference in Freiburg last September, Gabriele Lobaccaro, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Francesco Frontini, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, gave a presentation on solar energy in urban environment and showed how urban densification can affect existing buildings.


Kazakhstan Railways Goes on a Sunny Journey

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 24, 2013
Not much is known in the world about the country of Kazakhstan other than that it was once part of the empire of Genghis Khan and is one of the nations with the most fossil fuel reserves in the world today. Maybe that´s why it is also the country with the highest greenhouse gas emissions in Central Asia. To help lower these emissions, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) granted the national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) a USD 40 million loan in mid-December 2013 to support the company’s “drive to radically improve energy efficiency across its operations”. With the loan, KTZ intends to install energy-reducing technologies, such as LED lighting, solar water heaters and heat pumps, in more than 100 stations and depots. The photo shows Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who approved a green economy transition concept for his country in May 2013.
Photo: Wikipedia