The German Solar Energy Industry Association, BSW-Solar, believes that the number of solar thermal facilities will grow should predictions of a potential increase in oil prices be confirmed.
So much so that Carsten Körnig, CEO of the Association says that “in order to keep energy costs as low as possible, owners must now review their heating systems and think of adapting their home to a solar installation,” al least in Germany.
In a statement, BSW-Solar claims that low oil prices are the result of a massive oversupply that has lasted for several years due to the US fracking boom. Given the international context, in autumn, the OPEC countries agreed to reduce production. However, experts now consider likely that a further rise in oil prices occur, the association says.
The fluctuation of oil and gas prices
Thus, Körning explains that “with a solar thermal system the consumer is more independent of fluctuations in oil and gas prices.” In addition, he recalls that subsidies to switch to solar thermal are higher than ever in Germany, a country in which such facilities are increasingly being used for the supply of heat to complete residential areas.
To make the most of a solar heating system and to make it work as efficiently as possible BSW-Solar recommends setting the type of construction and demand to the system of choice.
Interconnection of solar thermal with other technologies
He also assures that since the solar heat is a resource that is practically not resorted to in summer and very little in the transition stations, the energy costs are reduced besides offering the ability to be combined with any other heating system.
In this sense the German Energy Agency explains on its website that “the interconnection of solar thermal energy with other technologies for the production of heat is gaining momentum. Synergy effects can be created through an intelligent energy management system that allows heating or cooling of buildings throughout the year, thus contributing to increase the percentage of heat generation from renewable energy sources in the future”.
Thus, he assures that there are examples of combinations of technologies, such as by connecting it with geothermal near the surface or by using the earth as a heat and cold accumulator.
Solar thermal energy in Spain
According to the study by the Solar Association of the Thermal Industry, ASIT, presented in March 2016, a total of 169 MWth (241,165 M2) were installed in Spain in 2015, that is, a decrease of 5,5% over the previous year. With these data there are 2.59 GWth accumulated in solar thermal power installed in our country and almost 3.7 million of M2 of total installed and operating surface.
In the same report, ASIT asserts that based on the projection of the overall results achieved by the sector, accumulated at the end of 2015, they could reach a maximum of 5 Million M2 installed and in operation by the end of 2020. That is, half the target of 10 Mill. M2 established in the Renewable Energies Plan PER 2011-2020. “We have a capable, committed and excited sector and five years ahead to change the trend and achieve the goal,” says the Association in the document.