In this issue
Poland: Renewable Energy Sources Law Either Late or Never

Greece: Sales Stable, but Profits under Pressure 

Database of Building Codes: 24 Individual Regulations 

Costa Rica: Small Market but Prestigious Large-Scale Projects

Chile: So Far No Government Compromise on Extending Tax Credits
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Credit Security Providers Share Long-term Risk through Energy Supply Contracts

Dear Solarthermalworld.org Reader,


Selling clients solar heat instead of solar systems avoids having to make the big investments which slow down the market segment of large-scale solar thermal systems. To be profitable, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) or contractors need to supply the energy over long contract periods between 10 and 20 years. For example, Austrian company S.O.L.I.D. has received a EUR 4 million loan for a huge solar cooling system in Singapore, which is being refinanced through an energy supply contract over 12 years (see photo). Banks and investors, however, are only willing to share such a long-term risk if a credit security provider covers the pitfalls of underperforming systems or outstanding client payments. Case studies from Austria and Brazil show how important these financial guarantee schemes really are.



Best regards

The editorial team

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Poland: Renewable Energy Sources Law Either Late or Never
by Marcin Czekanski

The draft of the RES law, which was published in December 2011, has never reached the Polish parliament. The government has missed all deadlines that it announced for sending the draft to the legislative for almost two years.  The government announced in June that it would wait with the RES law until the existing Energy Law was amended. "This could happen not earlier than mid-August, so the RES law could be sent to the parliament in September - if at all," Grzegorz Wiśniewski, President of Institute for Renewable Energy, explains. Some market experts, however, have told Solarthermalworld.org that the government had already given up on the RES law and was just waiting for the approval of the European Commission to abandon it. 

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Greece: Sales Stable, but Profits under Pressure
by Eva Augsten
 

Whereas Central Europe’s solar thermal markets keep shrinking, Greek has been very stable in recent years. In the meantime, Southern Europe’s hopeful, however, has attracted domestic competitors from other sectors with a low performance, such as PV wholesalers. Usually, they sell collectors from big domestic OEM manufacturers at a low price. Recently, TV adverts have even begun to promote solar thermal systems at low and fixed costs. “We are talking about a completely new situation, which has made end customers to think a solar water heater costs only that much,” says Panayis Konstantinidis, Managing Director of collector manufacturer Calpak Solar Energy (Cicero Hellas) and since January President of the Greek Solar Industry Association, EBHE.

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Database of Building Codes: 24 Individual Regulations
by Bärbel Epp

Sometimes, it takes a while until good ideas are copied. This has been the case with solar/renewable building codes, which were invented in Israel more than 30 years ago. It has just been over the last ten years, however, that this political instrument reached all five continents. Frontrunner in Europe was Spain, which approved the Technical Building Code, CTE, in March 2006. Outside Europe, it was the Australian state of Victoria which, in 2005, implemented the first building standard. In the meantime, the database of solar obligations on solarthermalworld.org has grown further and now includes 24 countries which use one of the various types of solar or renewable building codes.

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Costa Rica: Small Market but Prestigious Large-Scale Projects
by Eva Augsten
 
Costa Rica’s local solar thermal industry has been getting organised. The Solar Energy Association of Costa Rica, Acesolar, was officially founded last year. In early 2013, all formal issues were resolved and Acesolar was able to start working. Currently, the association has around twenty members. In February, a committee began developing a national standard for solar thermal systems. Cheap vacuum tubes from China are currently very popular. The photo shows one of the recent prestigious large-scale solar projects, which was finished in April 2013. The installation at the MultiSpa consists of 64 glazed flat plate collectors covering the hot water demand and 320 m² of unglazed collectors to heat the Olympic-size pool.
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Chile: So Far No Government Compromise on Extending Tax Credits
by Alejandro Diego Rosell
If nothing is done about it, Chilean Law 20.365 – which includes tax rebates for solar thermal systems - will end on 31 December 2013. Despite the support scheme’s success, there has not been any news on continuing the rebate policy. The main national solar associations, ACESOL and ACERA, are lobbying to extend the tax credit scheme. Although the new law is written and only needs final approval from President Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera, there has not yet been an official date set to approve it. In a race against time, the associations are pouring their efforts into securing a compromise between the Energy Ministry, which supports the extension, and the Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Office, whose support is still to be gained.
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NEWS TICKER
September in Germany: Two conferences in one week
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Call for Submissions: Solarthermalworld.org Research Video Competition
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