Solar Thermal

Global market data and trends: Increased use of solar heat for large buildings and industry

With 472 GWth installed at the end of 2017, solar heating and cooling was again the largest solar sector worldwide followed by Photovoltaics (402 GWp) and Concentrating Solar Power (5 GWel). The new report, Solar Heat Worldwide, highlights as well the increasing use of megawatt solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and private buildings as well as factories. The annual report was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. With data from 66 countries, it is the most comprehensive annual evaluation of solar heating and cooling markets worldwide. In 2016 (most recent available data), the global solar thermal sector employed 708,000 people and reached a global turnover of EUR 16 billion (USD 19.2 billion).

12.06.2018

Building-integrated solar envelopes: barriers to deployment

Active and passive solar systems integrated into building envelopes are key to combatting climate change. However, there are many barriers which confine current solutions to the demonstration stage and prevent them from going mainstream. To increase the size of the market, researchers have examined these barriers as part of Task 56, Building Integrated Solar Envelope Systems for HVAC and Lighting, under the auspices of the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme. Their report will not be available until September 2018, but this article contains a summary of the main conclusions.

02.05.2018

Solar cooling demand on the rise in Italy, Spain and the Middle East

The solar-cooled headquarters of Agility, a logistics business based in Kuwait. The 234 m² of evacuated flat plate collectors which provide the building with energy can be seen behind it. (Photo: TVP)

Sorption chillers may still be a niche market, but Europe’s manufacturers reported rising demand for solar thermal cooling in Italy, Spain and the Middle East in 2017. Solar thermal numbers are on the rise because of three factors: the potential to reduce power consumption, including peak loads; the option to use natural refrigerants, such as water; and the ability to provide demand-responsive heating and cooling throughout the year.

27.04.2018

German associations partner up to promote sustainable cooling

In early 2018, two German organisations agreed on a joint membership model to promote solar thermal air conditioning and cooling, a niche market in the country. The cooperation between the Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling and the Central Association for Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps, or ZVKKW for short, is hoped to popularise innovative and sustainable cooling solutions.

27.04.2018

Big Solar Germany: Utility-scale solar heat at record-low 36 EUR/MWh

Operators of several gas-driven combined cycle power plants, or CCPPs, have notified the German Federal Network Agency of their systems’ final shutdown. These plants are no longer economically viable, as they have been running ever fewer hours because of a high proportion of cost-effective renewable grid electricity. Their shutdown will create a shortage of supply in district heating networks providing thermal energy to German municipalities. Utility-scale solar thermal plants equipped with seasonal storage could help close the gap at heat prices of around 36 EUR/MWh, Christian Holter said. Holter is the Managing Director of Austrian turnkey system supplier S.O.L.I.D., which has carried out feasibility studies on behalf of several European cities.

05.04.2018

Tibet´s highly subsidised solar heating market

This photo, taken in November 2017, shows one-third of the solar district heating systems by Vicot Solar Technology. (Photo: Vicot Solar Technology)

Tibet is currently in the focus of the Chinese central government’s efforts to improve the heating situation of the population. The lack of space heating in many buildings in the region, which is subject to a continental climate marked by cold winters, has prompted China’s government to support the installation of solar district heating systems. In addition to Chinese-Danish joint venture Arcon-Sunmark Large-Scale Solar Systems Integration, Chinese parabolic trough collector manufacturer Vicot Solar Technology has signed a contract with the local government to install a solar district heating system in the autonomous region of Tibet. The entire installation will have 18,000 m2 of aperture area which is defined as the flat, rectangular area specified by the outer perimeter of the mirrors.

02.04.2018

2017 ranking of the world’s largest flat plate collector manufacturers

The ranking chart is based on a survey of manufacturers between January and February this year. (Source: data supplied by manufacturers)

The annual ranking of the world's largest flat plate collector manufacturers is now published on solarthermalworld.org. It based on a survey among the largest industry players carried out by solrico agency. The 2017 ranking clearly shows the market dominance of Chinese companies.

21.03.2018

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