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                                                                                                                                         January 2011
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Switzerland: Geneva Mandates 50 % Solar Share in Hot Water Demand 

"Solar Thermal Systems are Used to Improve the Coefficient of Performance of the Heat Pump"

Italy: Tax Credits Extended but under Worse Conditions 

Europe: Robin Welling New President of ESTIF

Greece Mandates Solar for New and Refurbished Buildings

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SMEThermal 2011
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From 1 January 2011 on, solar technology has to cover at least 60% of the domestic hot water demand in all new buildings in Greece. Moreover, as the number of new building permits is declining, the Greek Solar Industry Association - EBHE - calls for further measures to guarantee that the ambitious objectives of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan can be met.

The European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) supports this call. Robin Welling, the newly elected ESTIF president emphasised that great efforts was still needed to make all stakeholders aware of how significantly solar thermal could contribute to the 20-20-20 targets.

Renewable building codes are a good example. Recommended by the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC
), they could bring new market impetus in the renewable heat sector. Reports from Germany and Switzerland, however, show that such regulations are not always a great driving factor for the solar thermal market development. According to the statistics by Switzerland's heat pump association FWS, 83% of around  11,000 new residential buildings in 2009 have been equipped with a heat pump. In Germany, solar heat utilisation in new buildings is ranked third behind insulation and heat pumps.
Best wishes for a sunny and successful 2011
The editorial team 
switzerlandSwitzerland: Geneva Mandates 50% Solar Share in Hot Water Demand 
by Bärbel Epp

The Canton of Geneva is the third one after Basel-Country and Vaud to have approved a mandate for a solar share in domestic hot water generation. Article 15.2 of the new energy law, which came into force in September 2010, stipulates that at least 30% of a building's hot water demand is to be covered by a solar water heating system. Geneva does not consider heat pumps as a renewable heating technology. The canton is an exception, because all over Switzerland, heat pumps are a very popular heating technology.

Read more here

lange"Solar Thermal Systems are Used to Improve the Coefficient of Performance of the Heat Pump"
Interview conducted by Bärbel Epp

Having observed the German solar thermal market for decades, the graduate engineer Mr Dietmar Lange served, for many years, as the  Technical Director at various German collector manufacturers and solar thermal system providers until he became a freelance consultant two years ago. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with him about the technological trends and political developments on the largest European market. 
Read more here

ItalyItaly: Tax Credits Extended but Under Worse Conditions

by Bärbel Epp

At the beginning of December, the Italian government announced the extension of the 55% tax reduction for residential solar thermal systems for another year. If this was not the case, the tax reduction would have expired at the end of 2010. However, the extension seems like a hollow victory, because the government also extended the period, in which 55% of the investment costs can be deducted from the income tax, from 5 to 10 years. Hence, under the new regulations, the annual savings will be rather small.
Read more here

WellingEurope: Robin Welling New President of ESTIF
by Bärbel Epp    

The new President of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) is Robin Welling, Managing Director of Austrian collector manufacturer and system supplier Tisun, as well as Managing Director of Tisun LLC in New York. At the beginning of December, Welling was elected in Brussels by the General Assembly for a two-year period. He takes over from Olivier Drücke, who held the position between 2008 and 2010.
GreeceGreece Mandates Solar for New and Refurbished Buildings   
by Bärbel Epp

As of January 2011, all new buildings in Greece have to cover at least 60 % of their domestic hot water needs by solar technology. The Greek Solar Industry Association (EBHE) welcomes the regulation, which could bring the solar thermal market back on track. The newly installed collector area in 2010 stagnated on a low level after the market decreased by 31 % in 2009. The new building regulation is said to expand solar market opportunities significantly, as more than half of the new buildings were installed with electric or gas water heaters.