In this issue

Denmark: Construction Start on Dronninglund’s Solar District Heating Plant

EU Project: RELACS in Sustainable Holiday Accommodations

Italy: New Mandatory Quality Standards Trouble Installers

Zimbabwe: “Installing 100 locally produced storage tanks in 2013 would be a big success”


Scotland: “More Needs to be Done to Highlight the Benefits of Solar Thermal”

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Austria/Portugal: Tough Competition in Shrinking Markets

Dear Solarthermalworld.org Reader, 

When it comes to Europe’s solar thermal market, extremely good and extremely bad news seem to go hand in hand. On the one side, there is Denmark: the country is making the headlines for having one large-scale district heating plant installed after another and setting this year’s target to 300,000 m2 of newly installed collector area. The photo shows the 18,600 minstallation in Braedstrup, the second largest district heating plant in Denmark. On the other hand, there are the countries whose solar market is in free fall, such as Austria's (-16 % in 2012) and Portugal's (-29% in 2012), which has their industries spiralling ever downwards into an abyss. This Newsletter addresses three insolvency proceedings in Austria and one close-down in Portugal – all of well-established companies. Market concentration seems to happen more quickly than anticipated.


Best regards,

Editorial team

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Austria
Portugal

Denmark: Construction Start on Dronninglund’s Solar District Heating Plant
by Eva Augsten

On 15 March, the excavators began their work for Denmark’s largest solar district heating project so far. The collector field in the town of Dronninglund, about 30 km northeast of Aalborg, will have an area of 35,000 m², but installing the collectors will only be the last step. First, there is the seasonal pit heat storage - a hole in the ground filled with 60,000 m³ of water. In combination with the seasonal heat storage, the solar plant is said to achieve a yield of 15,000 MWh per year and to provide 40 % of the heat for the local district heating network with its 1,350 customers. 

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EU Project: RELACS in Sustainable Holiday Accommodations
by Frank Stier
 

What have the Albena resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast (see photo), the Bräuer restaurant in Weißkirchen, Austria, and the 2 Danby Cottages in the UK’s Forest of Dean in common? They are all part of the RELACS network, which boasts around 200 participants in ten European countries, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and youth hostels. RELACS is short for “REnewabLe energy for tourist ACcommodation buildingS”, a project to help tourist accommodations become more energy-efficient and increase the share of renewable energy technologies in the sector. 

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Italy: New Mandatory Quality Standards Trouble Installers
by Valeria Verga

On 24 January, the Conference of Italian Regions adopted the guideline ”Training standard for the installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems – in accordance with Legislative Decree 28/2011”. Two Italian associations, the CNA (National Confederation of the Craft Sector and Small and Medium Enterprises) and the associations Confartigianato have sounded the alarm: if the regions do not implement installer training courses quickly, “many of the 57,000 renewable installers in the country will be out of work” after 1 August 2013.

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Zimbabwe: “Installing 100 locally produced storage tanks in 2013 would be a big success”
by Stephanie Banse
 

In an interview, Dr Anton Schwarzlmüller, project partner of the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN) in Zimbabwe, offers his take on the country’s solar thermal market: “sales of flat plate collectors have been decreasing, whereas the number of evacuated tube systems has been growing steadily over the last two years. Many orders come from diplomatic staff to beat power failures and also to show that they care about the environment. The demand for solar thermal technology is not likely to change within the next five years, as the spending power of the private and government sector tends to remain minimal.” The photo shows the presentation of a solar water heater at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo this April.

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Scotland: “More Needs to be Done to Highlight the Benefits of Solar Thermal”
by Chris Laughton

The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) in Scottland underwent a change in March 2011 with the result that no application was submitted ever since. Although this technology had been reasonably popular in the first phase of the CARES scheme with solar thermal systems completed up to 2011 such as in schools and community centres. “People interested in solar tend to go for PV with the feed-in tariff instead,” argues  Eric Dodd, Head of Operations for Community Energy Scotland. 

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NEWS TICKER
India: Industry Shifts to Vacuum Tube Collectors
Brazil: Solar-preheated Water for Factory Canteen of Aircraft Producer Embraer
Market Assessment Report and Solar Thermal Action Plan for the Mediterranean Region
India: Rising Diesel Prices Boost Attractiveness of Solar Thermal
Trinidad and Tobago: Government’s Solar Thermal System Quality Push
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