In this issue
India: Federal Subsidy Scheme Is High Financial Burden for Channel Partners

Germany: Solar Process Heat Support Shows First Results

Taiwan/Germany: Newly Founded Joint Venture for Blue Coatings 

Germany: Fraunhofer ISE’s New Climate Test Stand

China: Compulsory Energy Efficiency Label
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Egypt Starts Green Tourism Initiative with Hotel Solar Obligation
While Egypt is still making headlines for its unstable political situation since the revolution almost two years ago, there seems to be a newly emerging political commitment to solar thermal energy. On 22 January, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou (second from left), announced a solar water heating programme for the hotel sector at Cairo's “Green Energy: A Need for Sustainable Tourism” conference. The recommendations which the minister presented to more than 300 conference participants had been developed together with the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, and the Egyptian Solar Energy Development Association (SEDA). Among the short-term projects that need to be started immediately is an obligation for hot water production and energy-efficient lighting in hotels.

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The editorial team

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India: Federal Subsidy Scheme Is High Financial Burden for Channel Partners
by Jaideep Malaviya
There are always two sides to each story: on the one hand, the 30% investment subsidy scheme has brought most solar thermal system suppliers enormous growth rates up to 100% since it was implemented by India’s federal government in June 2010. This is the result from a survey carried out by the Indian Malaviya Solar Energy Consultancy among the leading Channel Partners that control almost 70% of the market. On the other hand, the same Channel Partners must put together a minimum of 1,000 m² of collector area before being able to claim federal subsidies on behalf of their clients. This has put a lot of pressure on the pre-financing capacities of manufacturers which barely have the money to grow.

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Germany: Solar Process Heat Support Shows First Results
by Eva Augsten
 
Twenty applications: that is how many subsidy requests the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control, BAFA, has received since the new incentives for solar process heat came into effect in August 2012. According to the head of the division, Ralph Baller, most of these applications have already been approved. The BAFA also received informal requests for around 50 more projects still in planning. According to the new regulations, the German Market Rebate Programme for Renewable Energies, MAP, is now granting subsidies of up to 50 % of the net investment for process heat projects with a collector area between 20 and 1,000 m². The submitted projects include several car washes as well. The one in the photo had been in operation even before the new subsidies.
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Taiwan/Germany: Newly Founded Joint Venture for Blue Coatings
By Bärbel Epp
Until recently, a handful of German manufacturers had practically dominated the market for “blue” selective absorber coatings. Since 1 January 2013, a supplier from Taiwan has now been part of this select group, too: Alanod-Xxentria Technology Materials, headquartered in Tainan. The new company is a joint venture between the German Alanod Group, the worldwide largest producer of absorber sheets coated with PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition), and Xxentria Technology Materials. The latter is a stock-listed company which bought a new PVD coating line with an annual capacity of 8 to 10 million m² from German machinery supplier Von Ardenne Anlagentechnik GmbH one and a half years ago. The capital invested in Alanod-Xxentria Technology Materials amounts to USD 66 million.

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Germany: Fraunhofer ISE’s New Climate Test Stand
by Stephanie Banse
 
At the end of November, the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE started its new test stand for solar thermal collectors. Using this test stand, the scientists aim to simulate mechanical loads under extreme climatic conditions, e.g., wind or snow, and analyse their effects on the solar collectors. The test stand is part of the MechTest project, which has been running at the Fraunhofer ISE with support from the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) since 2010. The scientists hope that the project will be able to determine the mechanical stresses put on solar collectors and their mounting systems by wind and snow in order to develop quality assurance systems based on these results.
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China: Compulsory Energy Efficiency Label
by Bärbel Epp
Solar water heaters produced after 1 September 2012 require the China Energy Label in one of three different classes: 1, 2 or 3. The aim of the label, which was initiated by the China National Institute of Standardisation, is to promote energy-efficient and high-performance appliances. The label was compulsory from the very first day on, although there has been a certain transition period for products in stock. It also applies to a number of other products and is a must-have for companies which want to receive funding from the newly launched national solar water heater subsidy programme.

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