According to REN21’s Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, which was published at the UN-hosted Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York at the beginning of June, solar thermal technologies contribute significantly to hot water production in many countries and increasingly to space heating and cooling, as well as industrial processes. REN21 is a global multi-stakeholder network for renewable energy policy, connecting key actors from governments, international organisations, industry associations, science and academia, as well as civil society. First released in 2005, the report provides a comprehensive and timely overview of renewable energy markets, industries, investments and policy developments worldwide. The renewable energy data is provided by an international network of more than 500 contributors, researchers and authors. According to report data, the world added 55.4 GWth (more than 79 million m2) of solar heat capacity in 2012, increasing the cumulative installed capacity of all collector types in operation by over 14 % for a year-end total of 283.4 GWth. The chart above shows the shares in global capacity in operation across 2012’s top ten countries.
Whereas India shows enormous demand for thermal energy in the industry and for cooking, solar thermal has so far only covered 0.2 % of the total heating and cooling need. Therefore it is urgent to scale up the use of decentralised solar thermal technologies. Supported by the Shakti Foundation, consultancy Greentech Knowledge Solutions (GKSPL), located in New Delhi, will prepare a roadmap for scaling up deployment of decentralised solar thermal technologies in India. With plans to publish the roadmap by October 2014, GKSPL organised the first stakeholder workshop in Pune at the end of April, gathering around 40 experts mainly from the solar thermal manufacturing business.
Since January 2014, companies have been able to receive grants for their thermal-driven sorption cooling systems with a cooling power between 5 kW and 500 kW from the programme for commercial cooling technology in Germany. Until 2013, the minimum cooling power for the programme had been 50 kW. The Federal Environment Ministry published the amendment on 16 December 2013 (see the attached document). The programme supports solar thermal cooling, but also cooling systems driven by other green heat sources, such as industrial waste heat, cogeneration plants and district heating. The subsidy is 25% of the net investment for the cooling system, including installation and consulting costs. Source: Green Chiller
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.
Going into its fifth year, the annual Intersolar India conference is expecting 700 national and international attendees, as well as roughly 100 speakers from all around the world. The international event, which will take place in the Leela Kempinski Hotel in Mumbai from 11 to 14 November 2013, will set the stage for discussing current conditions and developments in international markets, with a special focus on the Indian market and the latest technologies and trends in the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage and solar thermal technologies (find more information about the conference programme here). The exhibition with around 200 companies at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), Mumbai, will run from 12 to 14 November, opening its doors one day after the start of the conference. As many as 7,296 visitors filled Hall 1 at the BCEC last year (see photo).
Photo: Solar Promotion
Under the title "Solar Heating and Cooling: Energy for a Secure Future", the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has published a 36-page road map for solar heating and cooling in the USA (see attached document). The road map aims to increase solar heating and cooling capacity in the US from 9 GWth today to 300 GWth by 2050 (both figures including pool heating). “It’s an ambitious goal, but it’s doable,” SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch says in a comment on SEIA’s web page.
Source: Road map map 26
In April, two workshops for solar cooling took place in Asia. At the beginning of the month, a workshop in Singapore focused on the use of solar cooling in tropical regions and gathered around 70 participants from research and industry (see photo). The workshop took place at Cleantech One, which is part of Singapore’s clean technology centre. Cleantech One also hosts the Asia office of Austrian turnkeysystem provider S.O.L.I.D. and the energy research institute ERI@N of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). They both organised the workshop together with the International Energy Agency (IEA). A week later, almost 80 solar cooling specialists participated in the Australian Solar Cooling 2013 Conference in Sydney, an event by the Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group (ausSCIG). Solarthermalworld.org has picked out the highlights from the presentations held at the two workshops.
The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is further extending the number of system types eligible for its CSI – Solar Thermal programme. Already in December 2012, California’s Governor, Edmund Brown, signed a law stipulating that solar heating of commercial pools is to be incorporated into the subsidy scheme. In March 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) published the Final Decision, specifying that solar cooling, space heating and process heat systems should be eligible technologies within the CSI – Solar Thermal. The CPUC, however, still has to work out the specific rule set, something which might delay implementation. The pie chart shows the share of system suppliers within CSI by the end of May 2013. By then, the programme’s administrators had received 1,400 grant applications, half of which had included the system supplier’s name.
Source: CSI – Solar Thermal
The preliminary programmes of the 4th European Conference on Renewable Heating and Cooling, which will take place from 22 to 23 April in Dublin, Ireland, and for the SDH conference from 9 to 10 April in Malmö, Sweden, are now available for download at their event websites. The photo shows the solar thermal panel at last year’s RHC conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A strong voice for the solar thermal industry: that is the aim of the new US Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance (SHC Alliance), a division of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). SEIA announced the new elected board in a press release on 19 February 2013. The US Solar Heating and Cooling Council which governs the SHC Alliance consists of five persons. First, there are Chairman Mike Healy from Skyline Innovations (left), Vice Chairman Matt Carlson from Sunnovations (middle) and Treasurer Eileen Prado from the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). The other two positions will rotate and are currently held by Les Nelson, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and Ole Pilgaard from Heliodyne. Only the chairperson and vice-chairperson, however, occupied formal positions within SEIA, another press release stated in January 2013.
Photos: Sunnovations, Skyline Innovations, SRCC