In this issue
Poland: Market in Transition

Germany: "A standstill is not the answer, a system solution is"

South Africa: Solar Thermal Technology Platform Launched in Pretoria

Solar Process Heat: European Commission Advocates More Research

Great Britain: Zero Carbon or Nearly Zero Carbon?

India: Pilgrim Sites Use Solar Energy
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Call for Submissions: Solarthermalworld.org Research Video Competition

Dear Solarthermalworld.org Reader,

For the first time, Solarthermalworld.org is holding a video competition for researchers. Are you a scientist specialised in solar thermal heating and cooling? Send us up to 3 minute video or animation explaining in brief the objectives and findings of your current research projects. All videos will be uploaded to a YouTube channel specifically created for this competition, as well as to Solarthermalworld.org and to social media platforms. The best videos or animations will be awarded at the international conference SHC 2013 in Freiburg, Germany (23-25 September). The winner will receive an iPad and the three commended videos will be awarded with a free conference ticket each. Take your chance and make your research known across the globe. Solarthermalworld.org already set up a YouTube channel with stakeholder interviews two years ago. The channel has since grown to currently 41 video clips and our goal has been fully met: giving solar heating and cooling a face on this popular online platform. 

Best regards,

Editorial team

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Poland: Market in Transition
by Marcin Czekanski
The Polish Institute for Renewable Energy (Polish initialism IEO) presented its latest market figures at the annual Solar Energy Industry Forum, which took place in the Polish city of Toruń between 13 and 14 May. Poland’s solar thermal market seems unaffected by the country’s economic slowdown: the newly installed collector area grew by 19% last year to 302,000 m², according to IEO research. The industry, however, is undergoing a big transition, with imported vacuum tubes gaining market share. In 2012, every third panel was imported, despite unused production capacities in the local flat plate collector industry. Read more»
Germany: "A standstill is not the answer, a system solution is"
by Jan Gesthuizen
 

The German solar thermal market has shrunk yet again. The figures for 2012 show a 9% drop in sales compared to 2011. This year has been off to a very slow start as well: in the first quarter of 2013, collector area sales were down by 19% compared to the same period last year, according to the BDH/BSI statistics. The industry seems to finally wake up to the harsh reality, conceding that something is fundamentally wrong with the market’s development. Representatives from associations, scientific institutes and the Federal Environment Ministry spoke openly about the industry’s home-grown problems at the yearly Solar Thermal Energy Symposium, which took place at the end of April.

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South Africa: Solar Thermal Technology Platform Launched in Pretoria
by Frank Stier

South Africa's electricity network is under constant pressure and blackouts are always looming. The state-owned electricity provider Eskom finally urged its clients in mid-May to cut 10% off their normal electricity consumption to prevent future outages. Until solar thermal heating and cooling can support South Africa’s electricity network adequately, there’s still a lot to be done. Nobody knows this better than the eighty experts who gathered in Pretoria on 17 May 2013 to establish the South African Solar Thermal Technology Platform (SA-STTP). Founding the platform has been part of the second phase of the SOLTRAIN initiative, which runs until 2016.

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Solar Process Heat: European Commission Advocates More Research
by Eva Augsten

In March, almost 40 scientists, engineers and solar process heat specialists met for the first workshop of the European InSun project, called "Exchange of experience made with the design and installation of solar process heat systems", which was hosted at the Institute for Solar Technology SPF in Rapperswil, Switzerland. The workshop focused on the experiences with the planning and installation of roof- or ground-mounted solar process heat systems - lead times, project schedule, as well as standards, guidelines and regulations in the different European countries. 

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Great Britain: Zero Carbon or Nearly Zero Carbon?
by Chris Laughton

In December 2006, the UK Government set a new policy that all new homes in England would be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 and introduced an initiative called the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), which would allow ratings to measure different levels of compliance. Although these ratings did not specifically promote solar thermal, it was most difficult to comply with the ratings without renewable technologies on the building. Ever since, several governmental announcements brought delay and doubts into this far-reaching climate protection policy. 

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India: Pilgrim Sites Use Solar Energy
 

India is the birthplace of three of the world's largest religions - Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism - all of which admire nature and preach conservation. Some of the country’s leading religious institutions have walked the path of sustainable development. It has made India a showcase for the use of solar thermal for community cooking needs. The country has at least a dozen large religious sites which use cooking systems with solar thermal concentrators. The photo shows the steam cooking at Muni Seva Ashram in the state of Gujarat.

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NEWS TICKER
Worldwide: Where the International Solar Thermal Community Meets Next
Bulgaria: “People now know that solar thermal can help them avoid high energy bills”
Mozambique: “The government is committed to the development of clean energy technologies”
Namibia: Cabinet Directive Pushes Solar Water Heater Market
Worldwide: Final Draft of New Collector Standard
France: Third Player to Launch PVT Panel on Market
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