MAN Ferrostaal enters solar cooling market

(PresseBox) (Düsseldorf, ) MAN Ferrostaal and the Aachen-based SOLITEM Group are to jointly market solar cooling systems in future. To this end, MAN Ferrostaal has taken over a 20.1% share of SOLITEM and signed a distribution agreement accordingly. SOLITEM develops and manufactures solar cooling systems that convert solar energy directly into cooling. The target markets are hot, sunny countries such as those in the Middle East, where up to 80% of electricity is used to operate conventional air conditioning systems.

According to estimates by both companies, the market potential is very large: “Our systems compete directly with conventional cooling and air conditioning systems,” says Dr. Ahmet Lokurlu, Managing Director of SOLITEM. “The economic benefits of our systems derive from their very low operating costs combined with recent dramatic increases in the cost of electrical power. Taken together, they make it possible to amortise the systems we have installed so far within about seven years.”

To date SOLITEM has installed four commercially operated systems in hotels and public buildings in Turkey. “SOLITEM is currently the sole provider of such systems who can draw from practical experience,” says Dr. Wolfgang Knothe, member of the Executive Board of MAN Ferrostaal. “This makes the company very attractive for us, as the market for solarthermal systems is just taking form at the moment.” MAN Ferrostaal intends to establish itself as one of the ‘first movers’ in the field of solarthermal power plants and cooling systems.

In their market estimates both companies refer to the estimates of independent institutions, including the International Energy Agency, which predicts a 50% increase in energy production by 2030. The IEA projects especially strong growth in the renewable energy sector, at 8.2% per annum. This is attributable above all to political measures aimed at CO2 reduction for the purposes of climate change prevention.

In the electricity sector the IEA expects very strong growth for renewable energies. Renewable energies currently comprise 18% of worldwide electricity production; the institute assumes that share will grow to 29% in 2030. And the IEA projects an even greater share in Europe: 38%. That would make renewables the second most important source of energy for electricity in Europe after coal.

In concrete terms this means, according to IEA, that renewable energies will represent about 60% of capacity expansions in the EU by 2030. That would be an investment volume of more than 600 billion US dollars.

MAN Ferrostaal aims to become the market leader in the development, construction and operation of solarthermal systems. Over the course of the past eight months, in order to obtain access to the key technologies, the company has acquired holdings in three technology developers and signed one joint venture: Solar Millennium, the Solar Power Group and SOLITEM possess technologies for the highly efficient collection and conversion of solar energy to heat. MAN Ferrostaal offers many years of experience in power plant construction as well as in the construction of industrial cooling plants, thereby covering the conventional part of solarthermal power plants and cooling systems.


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