Germany: Renewable District Heating Grants

30.10.2017
Photo: Wagner Solar
Photo: Wagner Solar

German politicians are beginning to appreciate the benefits of solar district heating, or SDH for short. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, BMWi, has launched District Heating Networks 4.0, a new subsidy scheme for grids which use solar, biomass or waste heat to meet at least 50 % of their customers’ annual demand.

Since 1 July 2017, utilities and cooperatives have been able to apply for a grant covering up to 60 % of the cost of feasibility studies and up to 50 % of the investment in new networks. In late September, the BMWi also organised a workshop, Solar Heat in District Heating, during which planners and turnkey system suppliers reported on the good performance of recently completed SDH plants in the German town of Senftenberg and the city of Chemnitz (see photo).

Last August, a 5.8 MWth vacuum tube collector field (8,300 m²) started feeding hot water at 85 to 105 °C into Senftenberg’s district heating network. According to a presentation by Dr Rolf Meißner from Ritter XL Solar, the turnkey supplier of the collector field, the system – which uses water instead of glycol for heat transfer – had exceeded the predicted yield of 482 kWh/m² during its first year and only 1.5 % of this yield had been used for freeze protection.

Similarly, Thorsten Urbaneck, Professor at Chemnitz University of Technology and head of the university’s Thermal Energy Storage group, said that the 2,230 m² flat plate collector array commissioned in Chemnitz in August 2016 had not experienced any difficulties during its first year of operation. This system´s transfer fluid is pure water as well, which makes heat exchangers unnecessary and means that the same fluid flows through the collectors and the grid.

Grant scheme offers generous support

As has been the case with other German grant programmes, the new scheme is managed by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, BAFA. In addition to funding feasibility studies and subsidising investment costs, BAFA also supports promotional activities with up to EUR 200,000 to increase the customer base connected to a district heating network. Utilities can additionally apply for a grant of up to EUR 1 million for monitoring or optimising systems or for R&D-related activities.

The investment grant consists of several components. The basic amount covers 20 % of the eligible investment costs (30 % in the case of small or medium enterprises). A sustainability incentive of up to 10 % of the investment will be paid if the district heating network shows a higher renewable energy or waste heat fraction than the required 50 %; applicants will receive 0.2 % for each full percentage point above the threshold.

The third component is a cost-effectiveness incentive for offering particularly low heat prices. If the utility achieves a calculated price below 100 EUR/MWh, it will receive an additional incentive of up to 10 % of the investment. The heat price will be monitored during the first five years after the incentive has been paid out. If cost effectiveness cannot be maintained, the money will have to be paid back.

Source: www.solarthermalworld.org

Websites of organisations mentioned in this article:

http://www.wagner-solar.com

http://www.bmwi.de/Navigation/EN/Home/home.html

http://www.bafa.de/EN/Home/home_node.html

http://ritter-xl-solar.com/en/home/

https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/index.html.en

Similar Entries

Acron-Sunmark solar collector field

The biggest solar district heating system in Germany will begin construction shortly. Arcon-Sunmark is responsible for building the turnkey project on behalf of Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim. The solar heating system will be operational by the end of 2019.

Thermal Energy Storage Market

Favorable government initiatives toward renewable energy based power generation along with increasing demand for uninterrupted power supply will augment the thermal energy storage market. In addition, increasing customer focus toward energy efficiency coupled with the implementation of energy storage plans will further complement the industry landscape.

As the pilot phase shows, the patented innovation developed by plusAmpere has enormous potential: The use of the innovative reflector and calculation system improves the worldwide yields of photovoltaic facilities (PV facilities), making them more profitable and cost-efficient (pict. plusAmpere)

The company plusAmpere introduces an innovative “reflector and calculation system” offering an efficient and inexpensive way of increasing the overall yield of existing and newly planned photovoltaic and solar thermal facilities.

Leading international manufacturer of applications and solutions for optical and electrical connectivity, Huber+Suhner, is set to demonstrate its portfolio of smart energy solutions at WindEnergy in Hamburg, taking place September 25-28, 2018.