Dear Solarthermalworld.org Reader,
The use of solar technology simply knows no boundaries: whether it is a solar-heated house that is installed in Vladivostok, a city in the far east of Russia, which is known for its harsh winters and average temperatures as low as -17 °C (see the picture above); or a solar-powered crematorium in India, where a Scheffler Dish focuses the sunlight on a dead body, burning it in a chamber according to Hindu rituals (see the news ticker below).
You are welcome to send us information about other new and innovative solar thermal applications and technologies, so that we can distribute the information among our growing number of solarthermalworld.org readers (email@example.com).
Best wishes for a sunny and successful 2012
The editorial team
USA: Solar Water Heaters May Loose Energy Star Label in 2012
Just two years after the first solar water heaters received the Energy Star Label, they may loose it again. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency is revising the label's Water Heater Specification. It has found that solar water heaters are not in line with the principle of the Energy Star Label, because they do not pay off quickly enough. The solar thermal industry worries that loosing the label would result in a serious drawback for the reputation of solar water heaters in the US. The final draft of the specification is expected in January and the final version is going to be published by February.
Brazil: New Requirements for Solar Installations on Social Housing
The Brazilian social housing programme 'My Home My Life' has now entered its second phase (2011/2014). Despite new rules, installing a solar water heater remains mandatory for all single-family houses whose owners have a wage lower than Brazilian Real 1,600. The sector had to wait until 27 September for the government-owned bank CAIXA to release the technical requirements for solar thermal systems.
Tunisia: PROSOL Subsidises 4,000 m² of Commercial Installations
The “Collective Prosol Programme” in Tunisia is gaining momentum. The National Agency for Energy Conservation (ANME) started the subsidy programme for solar thermal installations in the tertiary sector back in 2008. The application rate was low at first, but 2010 became a good year for the commercial solar thermal market. At the end of that year, ANME counted a total installed and subsidised collector area of 4,000 m², including four hotel installations with together 480 m² and around 130 smaller installations under 30 m². According to ANME, grants for another 1,770 m² are still in the pipeline. Besides, a solar programme targeting 18 public swimming pools is also under development.
USA: SRCC Improves Process Efficiency and Works on Standard for Combi Systems
Since Eileen Prado has become Executive Director of the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation SRCC in summer 2010, the average time for the testing and certification process has been cut in half. Although there are new programmes coming up next year, Prado is confident that certification periods can be reduced further. To improve efficiency, the SRCC now certifies and rates in-house work, which had been subcontracted to the Florida Solar Energy Center in previous years.
Italy: Political Frame Condition Update
The change at the helm of government in Italy has already had some positive effects on the solar thermal sector. The tax credit extensions were confirmed earlier than in the years before. At the beginning of December, the government approved the extension until 31 December 2012 under the current conditions. Besides, the first measures of Law Number 28 (approved on 3 March 2011) are already in place. Since 1 October 2011, all new and refurbished buildings must meet at least 50% of their hot water demand with a renewable heating source or with district heating. Since 1 January 2012 new and refurbished buildings must also cover 20% of their heating demand with renewable sources or district heating.