Intersolar Europe 2014 introduces renewable heating as new area of focus

Greater attention must be paid to generating renewable heat if the climate protection targets set in Germany and around the world are to be met. At 40%, the heating market accounts for the largest proportion of energy consumed in Germany and therefore holds considerable potential for the country to reduce its CO2 emissions. Existing buildings and, in particular, their heating systems provide many opportunities for this. In fact, modern heating systems not only lower the amount of CO2 released by fossil fuels but also cause heating costs to decrease considerably. The demands on policy makers to ensure that the heating market plays a more significant role in the energy transition are becoming ever greater, and Intersolar Europe is driving forward developments in this area as well. The exhibition is launching a new area of focus in 2014 that focuses on the trends and complete solutions in the field of renewable heating. A three-day forum on the topic is also set to take place in hall C4 of the exhibition center.

The German government has set itself the target of reducing its country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 and by between 80 and 90% by 2050 (in comparison with 1990’s figures). The heating market is expected to play a significant role in these targets being achieved. Only around a quarter of the approximate 20 million heating systems installed in Germany comply with the state of the art and, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, three quarters of these, i.e. a good 15 million heaters, will require modernization by 2020.   Against this backdrop, property owners, architects, energy consultants, installers and planners should seriously consider the advantages of renewable heating systems. To help them do just that, Intersolar Europe 2014 is set to provide information on these systems by launching a new area of focus dedicated to renewable heating and by organizing a forum on technology, products and services.

A change in the heating market’s underlying conditions
The proportion of heat generated by renewable energy in Germany currently stands at 9.5% and the Renewable Energy Heating Act (EEWärmeG) has set the target for this to rise to 14% by 2020. However, other countries have established far more ambitious objectives. Denmark, for example, is aiming to generate all of its heat by renewable energy by as early as 2035. To achieve this target, a regulation was introduced this year stating that no more oil or natural gas boilers may be installed in new buildings. Moreover, steps must be taken from 2016 to replace the oil boilers found in existing buildings with renewable heat generators.

Legal provisions are also set to make more efficient heating systems compulsory in Germany as well. One example is the European Directive on Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB), which states that new buildings must only consume a minimal amount of energy from 2020. In addition, the new EU Regulation on eco-design requirements for water heaters and hot water storage tanks – in short, energy labeling – will prescribe that all heating systems fulfill the minimum requirements laid down in the Regulation and bear an energy label. Renewable heating systems will benefit from this new legislation the most.

The cost benefits associated with renewable heating
According to an analysis conducted by the German Renewable Energy Agency (AEE), Berlin, an average three-person household in Germany spends around €1,500 a year on heating and hot water. This is in comparison with the average €996 spent on electricity, the high costs of which are currently prompting heated public debates. Added to this, almost 80% of German households still generate heat using fossil fuels, such as natural gas, coal and oil. The AEE has estimated that people who heat their homes using oil are paying double what they did in 2000. Meanwhile, the price of natural gas has rocketed by 70% in the same period of time. Given such price trends, renewable heating is now not only more environmentally friendly but also more economical than fossil energy sources. Based on a service life of 20 years, the costs of fitting and operating an installation that combines a pellet heating system with a solar thermal system in a single-family home are only around half as much as those incurred by purchasing and maintaining a condensing oil boiler.

The energy transition taking place within the heating market is also worthwhile in terms of the benefits that it would bring to the national economy. According to the research company EnergyComment, Hamburg, Germany accrued net import costs of 93.5 billion euros for importing coal, oil and gas in 2012. This meant that energy imports accounted for 3.5% of the country’s gross domestic product last year, a stark increase in comparison to the 1.6% recorded just a decade ago. If, in future, this money were to be invested in expanding renewable heating, it would not only be the environment that would benefit but the economy as well. In fact, the rewards would be reaped across the board, from plant manufacturers to regional tradesmen and installers.

Renewable heating at Intersolar Europe 2014
Intersolar Europe is expanding its range of topics in 2014. In addition to the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage systems and solar thermal technologies, the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry now includes an area of focus dedicated to renewable heating. The new area not only includes solar heat generation but also covers renewable heating systems, such as pellet and wood-chip heating systems, as well as energy-efficient technologies, such as mini combined heat and power plants or cogeneration systems and heat pumps. In addition, a forum taking place in hall C4 provides the opportunity for in-depth discussions. By extending its areas of focus, Intersolar Europe is aiming to contribute to driving forward the energy transition within the heating market.

Intersolar Europe Press Releases

New EU energy goal for 2030

The European Commission set out its goal Wednesday (22 January) of a Europe which, by 2030, emits 40% less carbon dioxide than it did in 1990, uses renewables for 27% of its energy, and employs a reserve mechanism to regulate its carbon market.

The last wrangle in the target-setting was ironed out yesterday morning, with accord on a 27% target for renewables in 2030 that would be binding at the EU level but voluntary for member states.

The issue had become inter-linked with haggling over whether the greenhouse gas reduction target should be 35% or 40%, and the final fudge left some environmentalists privately breathing a sigh of relief.

The EU’s climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, told a press conference in Brussels that unlike the EU’s 2020 target of a 20% CO2 reduction, the 40% target for 2030 could not be met by ‘carbon offsets’ and would require real emissions reductions.



Expo Transilvania Cluj and CCI Cluj-Napoca, during the period February 26 to March 1, 2014 the most important fair in Transilvania for construction and installations - AMBIENT CONSTRUCT & INSTAL along with DECOMOB - National Fair of Furniture and Decorations. Thus, bringing together in a single exhibition materials, ideas and services for construction, renovation and interior home and garden.

Exhibitors come with modern and economical solutions for the construction and installation for both residential and commercial and industrial areas. These include the latest technology and building materials, a wide range of sanitary ware, tools, paints, electrical goods, furniture and interior decoration.

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Expo Transylvania Exhibition Center
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Str. Aurel Vlaicu F.N.


skytron energy’s Power Plant Controller for Renewables Now Certified to UL

skytron energy, the internationally renowned developer of monitoring, control and supervision systems for renewable energy power plants, has successfully completed the cETLus product safety test for their skycontrol power plant controller.

The controller’s cETLus approval to the UL/CSA 60950-1 equipment safety standard rounds off UL certification of skytron’s entire instrumentation and control range for renewable power plants and particularly for utility-scale photovoltaic installations.  The system solution for solar applications covers the ArrayGuard series of industry-standard combiner boxes for DC distribution and real-time string current measurement; skyCONNi field sensors for irradiation, weather and status monitoring; skylog data loggers; the skycontrol plant controller for grid stability and balancing functions; and the PVGuard remote supervision platform.

The control aspect of the system ensures the power plant’s flexibility in meeting local TSO/DSO grid connection regulations.  Its add-on skycontrolRI telecontrol interface allows renewable power plants to leverage the various forms of electricity dispatching and trading, which is particularly important in regions without a national FIT.

“To date, in collaboration with international EPC companies, we have installed our monitoring and control system in more than 4.5 GWp of solar power plants, 3 GWp of which are equipped with our plant controller”, says Alberto Gallego, Product Marketing Manager at skytron energy. “With cETLus listing now completed across our entire functional range, we are happy to be part of the exciting, fast growing U.S. solar market.”

Power-One inverters to power 9MW solar parks in Romania

Power-One, a member of the ABB Group and the world’s second largest designer and manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters, announced today that the company’s inverters were used in six Romanian solar parks with a total installed capacity of 9MWp. The acquisition and construction of the installations, each with a capacity of between 1MWp and 2.5MWp, was planned and implemented by Thesan SpA, a member of Savio Group and worldwide player in the renewable energies industry.

Built within two months, the first 2MWp installation in the Southwest of Bucharest has already been connected to the grid and has also received an accreditation of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) for issuing so-called green certificates. As of today, four Romanian installations have already been finalized using Power-One’s pre-assembled ULTRA STATION and PLUS STATION, which consist of the company’s PVI-267.0-TL and PVI-400.0-TL central inverters. For the other two projects, which are currently under construction, Thesan chose the PLUS STATION by Power-One.

These turnkey solutions are available in many options for power installations rated between 400kW and 3110kW. Power-One’s offering allowed Thesan to install a custom-fitted inverter product and to meet their targeted performance requirements on their large solar parks. Thesan chose Power-One’s products in order to verify high yields and energy harvesting thanks to multiple MPPTs as well as the modular design approach to address the demanding needs of utility-scale applications.

“This is the first time we have worked with Power-One,” explains Pierluigi Borgogna, Head of Renewable Energy Division at Thesan. “In the beginning we chose the company due to its high quality products as well as to the impressive performance of Power-One’s inverters. Now we also had the chance to experience their service. From the design to the choice of the best inverter for each installation up to the connection to the grid – Power-One supported us during all phases of the project in a reliable and professional manner.”

“We are pleased to support Thesan’s project in one of the most promising PV markets in South East Europe. Romania offers the ideal topographical and political conditions for the installation of solar parks, which makes it a perfect investment target. We are glad about the fruitful and intense cooperation with Thesan and are looking forward to the future,” said Alessandra Romoli, Area Sales Manager South EMEA at Power-One.

Medias, Romania - ambitions Pv projects

Medias Municipality has proposed more ambitious projects for the current year. One of them refers to power traffic lights with solar panels. This will be experienced at the new traffic light system in the food market, where traffic lights have been installed and photovoltaic panels . Mayor Medias Mr Teodor Neamţu belive the photovoltaic system will be extended to all the lights in the city, whether it will bear fruit .

"It is true, there are solar panels that will power the traffic lights near the food market. These systems are equipped with a system to store excess energy, so we will have a power reserve and night. If you pay off, the system will be extended to Medias. As part of the traffic light system will auto install two traffic lights and two lights for pedestrian crossings at street Mihai Eminescu. On Brancoveanu Street at the pedestrian crossing lights will be installed adjacent second self, flashing green one to the street and other to the street Madgaru Eminescu. On Virgil Madgaru  street will be installed two lights for pedestrians and for two more auto lights. Finally on the Tower street will be installed a flashing light for turn right "said Teodor Neamţu Mayor of Medias .

The project provides for the new traffic light system to be completed within 3 months of starting work .
Author : Sibiu100

Mandra village from Romania will have a big PV power plant

Geos Energy SRL company from Selimbar, Sibiu County Romania, will invest over 50 million euros in the development of a photovoltaic park in the village Mandra, Brasov County. According to advice received from the Environmental Protection Agency Brasov, the park will cover an area of ​​84 hectares and will have a capacity of 38 MW. In total, will be installed over 160,000 solar panels.

Author Frimu Ghinea

New electrical plants in Romania

Electricity generation capacity in Romania will increase in the next six years with approximately 19 % after that will be put into operation almost 5,000 MW units . Simultaneously there will be decommissioned power equivalent to a quarter of the capacity of new power units, no later than the year following the commissioning of new power generation capacity .

The new projects are biogas Plant Amonil, a group of 500 MW coal, Oltenia Energy Complex with a 800 MW coal power plant and the company Braila Power ( a joint venture between E.ON and Enel ) with a new group 200 MW into Hunedoara Energy Complex . Other projects aimed at modernizing the existing groups and the construction of new units by ELCEN Bucharest and Arad CHPs , Govora and Braila . New projects will be funded in part with money from the sale of green certificates , which receives free Romania during 2013-2020 , following the signing of the Kyoto Protocol .

The next six years will be instead decommissioned eight production groups , totaling 1,235 MW. This year will be decommissioned two groups CET Brasov and a group of plant Doiceşti belonging plants.

Author : Frimu Ghinea

Prispa - history of first Romanian participation to Solar Decathlon Europe

The first participation of a Romanian team was in 2012, when the team PRISPA built a traditionally inspired house, adapted to a contemporary way of living and it got the 2nd place at the Energy Efficiency competition, the 2nd place at the public choice and the 9th place in the general competition.

The team built a prototype house inspired from Romanian tradition, which was adapted to a contemporary way of living. The house found a buyer right before leaving Romania for the contest.

At the moment it is located in a rural environment, surrounded by forest, near Bacau.

Author : Frimu Ghinea

Agriculture, forestry and renewable energies in Romania. Business forum in Berlin.

The German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( AHK Rumaenien ) will organize on the 11th of April 2014 a business forum in Berlin. The main topics of the event include economic and legal aspects related to the Romanian market for renewable energy investments in the agricultural and forestry field.

Source : AHK Rumaenien

Retrofix, upTIM team, steps to Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 Competition

upTIM are the academic team of Timisoara  ( Romania ) made up of undergraduate,Master and PhD students from Polytechnic University and the West University from Timisoara, students who supported by professors and collaborators from all fields from:
- Arts and Design;
- Physics;
- Architecture and Interior Design;
- Civil and Instalations;
-Communication Sciences;
- Electrical;
- Mechanical;
- Sociology and Psychology.
- Management in Production and Transportation;
They will  develop the interdisciplinary project - RETROFIX for the competition Solar Decathlon Europe competition, 2014 edition, which will take place in Versailles, France.

The RETROFIX vision defines an alternative for contemporary habitation in these blocks by increasing comfort and, at the same time, making the energy consumption more efficient as well as reducing the negative environmental impacts of these neighborhoods.

- Reconfiguring the space at neighborhood level, the block of flats and the apartments
- Reducing energy consumption per unit by standard passive rehabilitation;
- Integration of renewable energy, particularly solar energy;
- Informing the community about sustainable lifestyle.

RETROFIX prototype

The prototype will be exhibited at Versailles between 16 June and 19 July 2014 and it synthesizes the values of the RETROFIX vision within an exhibition pavilion . The apartment on the top level to which a vertical extension is attached (on the terrace roof) will illustrate, in a practical way, how the RETROFIX block works.

By redesigning an apartment, Retrofix  focus on the individual and his contemporary living needs, demonstrating the fact that it is possible to reconfigure the dwellings designed in the 1970s in a sustainable manner to provide comfort and the necessary space a contemporary family requires.

The prototype will enables to test innovative solutions proposed in the real context and the actual experimentation of the benefits that residents have from the project.

As a separate item, team will  follow the certification of the prototype after the most rigorous Standard of sustainable buildings, the Living Building Challenge, which includes:
• energy independence
• Independence from the water network
• environmentally friendly building materials with low environmental impact

The Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 Competition

At the moment, team implement a vast program of conferences, workshops, expositional fairs and other events where promote the Retrofix project together with the partners, the sponsors and the upTIM supporters.

The upTIM team is on the 3rd place on the complementary list of the competition. Because of this, the Retrofix prototype will be built in the solar village, at the Versailles Palace and exhibited for 2 weeks, during the jury evaluation, together with other solar houses, built by teams of students from the entire world.

Between August-December 2014, for 5 months, team will exhibit the project inside a commercial center for:
• accessibility
• large numbers of visitors
• higher visibility of our partners

Starting with January 2015, team will exhibit the Retrofix prototype in the University Campus in Timisoara, Romania, until December 2016, as a study support for all the UPT and UVT students and teachers. During these 2 years, the upTIM project will become an experimenting and education object for the future engineers and artists, promoted as a result of the research of the university environment in Timisoara, in the field of alternative energies.

Author : Mihai Vintila

The EBRD is helping the Western Balkans switch to green power

Electrical outages and insecure power supplies are likely to become a distant memory in the Western Balkans, as the EBRD and its innovative financing instrument, the Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Direct Financing Facility (WeBSEDFF), help the region’s transition to renewable energy.

WeBSEDFF provides debt financing to companies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia for renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency projects.

This €100 million programme, targetted at small and medium-scale projects, is forecast to cut CO2 emissions by half a million tonnes per year - the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.

Frigo Food Energy Invest in Kosovo and Mali Hidro Elektrani in FYR Macedonia are among the first enterprises to benefit from the new opportunities provided by WeBSEDFF.

Even without much previous experience in the power sector, Sokol Meqemeja, the owner of Frigo Food Energy Invest, never doubted the potential of sustainable energy. Seizing the opportunity to invest in the nascent renewable energy market in neighbouring FYR Macedonia, he financed the rehabilitation and upgrade of a small hydropower plant (SHPP) there.

Professor Kocho Angujshev, co-owner of Mali Hidro Elektrani, shared similar views at first. “The most significant risk we have faced in the development of small hydropower plants was the lack of significant experience, not only in our country, but also in the region”.

But the EBRD’s technical and financial support, combined with the company’s desire for success, helped Mali Hidro Elektrani become the Bank’s first private sector investor in Macedonian power.

With a €6 million loan, it financed seven small hydropower plants, giving Macedonians in remote areas access to a stable power supply.

It also provided jobs where they were most needed. For Aleksandar Trandovski, a supervisor at the SHPP in Brajcino, south-west FYR Macedonia, the new job meant new opportunities.

“My financial situation is now stable,” he said. “I can support my family with this salary.”

By investing in such enterprises, the EBRD is setting an example, and thus potentially encourages local commercial banks to provide similar tailor-made financing.

One of the pioneering faces of the WeBSEDFF is its project finance approach. “The local commercial banks in principle offer financing on the basis of a mortgage, while the EBRD made available project finance, which allowed for the implementation of these hydropower projects”, said Professor Angujshev.

Other innovative aspects include an incentive payment mechanism- a possibility to monetise the expected CO2 emission reductions- as well as technical assistance for project preparation and an Institutional Capacity Building programme. The technical assistance is funded by grants from the European Union, the European Western Balkans Joint Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

The recent achievements have encouraged the WeBSEDFF and the EBRD to continue investing in the private sector in the region. The Bank is now planning to venture into so called ESCOs- energy savings companies.

Author: Kasia Dudarska (EBRD)

Seminar : remediation of contaminated sites in Estonia

Doranova organizes in Tallinn 29.2.2012 in collaboration with Estonian officials, research institutes and corporations a seminar on “remediation of contaminated sites in Estonia”. The themes of the seminar are Estonian legislation, best practices on site monitoring, international R & D of remediation technologies and Nordic experiences of in situ remediation.

Participation to the seminar is free, but requires pre-registration. The detailed program will be delivered to registered participants. Seminar language is Estonian.

Further information can be found from the attached invitation or by contacting

AFG subsidiary Kermi takes over Czech heat pump manufacturer

Kermi GmbH, a subsidiary of AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG, is taking over PZP HEATING a.s., an established heat pump manufacturer in the Czech Republic. The takeover will enable Kermi to add further product solutions with an excellent price-performance ratio to the existing Kermi "x-optimized" heating system.

The Heating Technology Business Unit of the AFG Heating Technology and Sanitary Equipment Division (as of 1 January 2014 the Building Technology Division) successfully launched the Kermi "x-optimized" heating system in the spring of 2013. The system, which consists of a heat pump, storage, regulation and heat transmission (flat-panel radiator/panel heating and cooling), is suitable for new construction and renovation; the focus has so far been on the energy modernisation of detached and semi-detached houses. To expand the product portfolio, the Czech company PZP HEATING a.s. – a spinoff of PZP Komplet a.s. – is being taken over as of 1 January 2014.

PZP HEATING has been developing and producing air heat pumps, water heat pumps and brine heat pumps with an excellent price-performance ratio at its site in Dobre, Czech Republic since 1995. Since then, several thousand devices have been successfully marketed. These devices are characterised by quality, smooth operation, design and freedom from maintenance.

The takeover of PZP HEATING will enable the Heating Technology Business Unit to round out its range of products in terms of technology and in future to offer attractive system solutions especially designed for the price-sensitive new construction sector. The enlarged range of products, developed according to Kermi specifications, will be sold under the Kermi brand name via specialised wholesalers in Germany.

PZP HEATING will be developed into a centre of expertise for innovative heat pump solutions within the Heating Technology Business Unit. It will continue to cultivate the market independently under the leadership of former and current Chairman of the Board Ivo Novohradský.



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