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Full speed towards commercial solar heat

Dear Reader, 


2017 ended on some remarkable news about utility-scale solar heat around the globe. 15 December saw the inauguration of a 1.6 MW solar district heating plant in western France – the first-ever project supported by the new national scheme for large-scale systems. Similarly, a 3.5 MW process heat installation is being set up in Vietnam. And in Kyrgyzstan´s capital, 0.5 MW vacuum tubes have been feeding into a biomass-powered district heating network. These three projects have been the most ambitious ones across their respective regions, but seem small compared to what is being planned in California, where US-based Glasspoint intends to erect an 850 MW solar steam plant for enhanced oil recovery. The photo shows a similar Glasspoint system currently being built in Oman. It features parabolic trough collectors inside greenhouses.


Let´s keep up the tempo in the commercial solar heat market.


Best of luck with your business ventures in 2018.


The editorial team


Solar district heating in France
Solar process heat in Vietnam
Vacuum tube field in Kyrgyzstan
Glasspoint project in California

Solar thermal plays minor role in Italy’s energy strategy
by by Riccardo Battisti

Solar thermal had been mentioned in only five lines in the first draft of Italy’s National Energy Strategy in June 2017, before public consultation took place. The country’s Ministry of Economic Development, which developed the Strategia Energetica Nazionale, received more than 1,000 comments in June and September 2017 and published its final version on 10 November 2017.

French PVT market is picking up
by by Bärbel Epp

The IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will create its own international research platform on PVT systems in January 2018. Researchers and industry representatives from 13 countries so far will then start evaluating new PVT systems for HVAC solutions. This IEA SHC task, which is planned to run until the end of 2020, is being announced at a time when the PVT market in several European countries, such as France and Switzerland, is picking up speed.

Renewable heat projects along Danube River
by by Frank Stier

The project DanubeHeat helps small and medium enterprises, research and educational institutions, and public agencies draft EU funding applications. The network’s partners first met in the Croatian town of Osijek on 21 November 2017 and in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, two days later. These meetings allowed to discuss first project calls and potential topics for applications.DanubeHeat is inviting other organisation to join the network.

How to approach green construction in the tropical zone
by by Bärbel Epp

While nearly zero energy projects in Europe focus on reducing heat demand, green buildings in tropical Singapore require lower cooling loads. To study and discuss methods to meet cooling needs, construction and energy experts from all around the world met in Singapore in late October for a two-day workshop. The aim of the Future Buildings Forum 2017 was an agreement on strategic R&D priorities for Transforming Cities in Hot and Humid Climates Towards More Efficient and Sustainable Energy Use.

Solar thermal goes digital
by by Eva Austen

On 14 December 2017, members of industry associations Austria Solar and BSW-Solar met founders of start-ups to draw up digital strategies for solar thermal. One of the key findings from the one-day workshop in Vienna, Austria, was that traditional solar thermal companies cannot take on this task alone. They will have to partner with start-ups to explore and utilise the potential that digitalisation has for their business.