In this issue
Big Ups and Downs on Global Market

IEA SHC TASK 51: “Integrate Energy Perspectives into Spatial Planning of Urban Areas”

Europe: Solar Thermal Is Best-Known Renewable Heating Technology

Germany: Symposium Debates Renewable Heating Market Ups and Downs

IEA SHC: Industry Workshop in Spain Shows Solar Cooling’s Global Opportunities
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Solar Thermal Crosses Gigawatt Threshold

Dear Solarthermalworld.org Reader, 

 

Big investments herald a new era in solar heating: In the desert of southern Oman, construction is underway on Miraah – with 1 GWth, the world’s largest solar steam-producing plant. State-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) commissioned Californian Glasspoint to install the plant for USD 600 million. The parabolic trough collectors enclosed in glasshouses will be expected to start producing steam in 2017, at which time they will heat the heavy crude oil underground and improve its flow properties when pumping it to the surface.

 

Another large investment in solar heating was announced in Austria: Regional energy provider Energie Steiermark announced Big Solar, a EUR 196 million project of a solar district heating plant for the city of Graz. The dimensions recommended in the feasibility study have gigantic proportions: 350 MWth, plus a 1.8 million m³ storage tank. The proposed size would make it seven times as big as Danish Vojens (49 MWth and 203,000 m³), which leads today’s ranking of the largest solar heating and cooling plants worldwide.

 

Have a good read

The Editorial Team

 

Miraah

Big Solar

Big Ups and Downs on Global Market
by Bärbel Epp

The global solar thermal market went into another year of notable decline in 2015. With 37.2 GWth, the newly installed glazed and unglazed collector capacity in the 18 largest countries was 14 % lower than in 2014 (43.4 GWth). The further slowdown last year was the result of diminishing collector area figures in China (-17 %), and in Europe (nine biggest nations down by -5 %). The countries with the highest growth rates last year were Denmark (+55 %), Turkey (+10 %), Israel (+9 %) and Mexico (+8 %).

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IEA SHC TASK 51: “Integrate Energy Perspectives into Spatial Planning of Urban Areas”
by Bärbel Epp
 

During COP21 in Paris last December, 1,000 mayors and local leaders pledged themselves to a 100 % renewable future of their municipalities by 2050. This crucial political statement gives new impetus to the international research task Solar Energy in Urban Planning (Task 51), which is part of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The researchers organised two workshops in Stockholm in March to discuss with representatives from public bodies how to deal with the challenges of interdisciplinary planning processes when trying to retain the aesthetic quality of buildings of cultural and historic significance.

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Europe: Solar Thermal Is Best-Known Renewable Heating Technology
by Eva Augsten

As part of EU project Fair RHC Options and Trade (FROnT), customers from the residential, non-residential and industrial sector were asked about the key points factoring into their decision on a heating or cooling system. In all sectors, solar thermal was the most widely known renewable heat technology. Among the around two-thirds of the interview partners who knew about renewable heating and cooling technologies, 96 % of the residential, 89% of non-residential and 79 % of industrial customers were aware of the opportunities of solar thermal energy. “That was a confirming result for us,” Stefano Lambertucci, Policy Officer at the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, said.

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Germany: Symposium Debates Renewable Heating Market Ups and Downs
by Bärbel Epp
 
During the first quarter of 2016, solar thermal suppliers in Germany sold around 3 % more systems than they did over the same period last year. This is indeed good news after 2015 turned out to be another disappointing year with a 10 % drop in sales, adding only 805,000 m² (563 MWth) of newly installed collector area. The other good news is that subsidies in Germany have never been as attractive as they are now. It is the reason why the two German solar and heating associations, BSW Solar and BDH, launched the Solar Heating – it always pays off (Sonnige Heizung - immer im Plus) campaign, as announced in a press release in the middle of April – at the same time that the Solar Thermal Energy Symposium took place in Bad Staffelstein. The symposium is Germany’s major annual industry conference on the topic and is organised by the East-Bavarian Institute for Technology Transfer, OTTI. This year, the three-day conference was attended by around 250 solar thermal experts from research and industry.
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IEA SHC: Industry Workshop in Spain Shows Solar Cooling’s Global Opportunities
by Bärbel Epp

The latest R&D developments in solar cooling presented during a workshop in Madrid, Spain, on 11 April sparked great interest among the attendees from the international air conditioning industry. the event brought together representatives from companies, such as Baxi Roca, Carrier, Fujitsu, Kaysun and Panasonic, as well as researchers from Task 53, New Generation Solar Cooling and Heating Systems, of the IEA SHC Programme. The experts agreed that solar cooling will be a market for both solar thermal and solar PV solutions over the coming years and will capture new territory outside Europe, such as in the Middle East or China.

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