News and events

Image credit: REUTERS/Nacho Doce
18 Aug 2020

Value-based bidding, favorable site conditions and Spanish engineering has carved a fresh opening for CSP build.

Portugal launched its delayed second solar auction last month, tendering for 700 MW of new capacity across 12 sites in Southern Portugal.

For the first time, the auction includes a new solar plus storage stream which could see Portugal build its first CSP plant. Solar plus storage developers will compete against stand-alone PV projects on a net present value (NPV) basis to win 15-year guaranteed payment contracts.

Image form IEA 2020
15 Jul 2020

Today the International Energy Agency (IEA) is sending a clear message to governments and companies around the world that clean energy innovation needs to accelerate to meet net-zero emissions goals. Our new Energy Technology Perspectives 2020: Special Report on Clean Energy Innovation presents new IEA modelling of pathways to a more resilient and cleaner energy sector at net-zero emissions, and explores the areas where critical technology solutions are in need of faster progress.

credits: Steam system of the thermal power block at a CSP plant
10 Jul 2020

Engineers generally tend to be solutions-oriented, and engineers in Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) are no different. A history of making things better than they were is why we now have advanced technologies. As Hal Harvey, founder of Energy Innovation told the NYT opinion columnist Tom Friedman:

Source: International Renewable Energy Agency’s ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs 2019’ report (June 2020).
30 Jun 2020

Global learnings on the impact of ‘transient’ risks on Concentrated Solar Power tower systems are driving improved storage tank piping and all-welding techniques, experts told New Energy Update.

In a bid to accelerate deployment, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published June 12 the world’s first best practices report for CSP plants.

NREL researchers analyzed data and feedback from 80% of CSP plants operating worldwide, covering parabolic trough and less mature CSP tower and storage technologies.

29 May 2020

Flughafen Zürich AG commits to ETH spin-off Synhelion for CO2 reduction

Flughafen Zürich AG aims to cut its CO2 emissions to zero net by 2050. The coronavirus has done nothing to change this plan. That is why the company has just entered into a partnership with the young high-tech enterprise Synhelion SA to support research and development work on synthetic fuels over the long term.

EU Green deal
21 May 2020

On 19 May 2020, the European Commission published a consultation open to the whole R&I community to help shaping the main features of a dedicated Green Deal Call under Horizon 2020.

Fighting climate change and making Europe climate-neutral by 2050 is one of the main priorities of the European Commission and endorsed by the European Council in December 2019. In support of this priority, the Commission is reinforcing Green Deal-related research and innovation with a dedicated call for proposals under Horizon 2020.

Image from SolarPACES by @Glasspointsolar
05 May 2020

Concentrated Solar Heat (CSH) could decarbonize industrial heat requirements

Citing a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), World Bank energy consultant Elena Cuadros told SolarPACES that direct solar thermal heat holds the promise to replace fossil fuels supplying half the world’s industrial requirement for medium temperature heat. Even industries like mining and steel that require higher temperatures – also use some medium heat processes between 300ºC and 400ºC, which can be met with Concentrated Solar Heat (CSH).

Source: SolarPACES
05 May 2020

All concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies use a mirror configuration to concentrate the sun’s light energy onto a receiver and convert it into heat. The heat can then be used to create steam to drive a turbine to produce electrical power or used as industrial process heat.

Concentrating solar power plants can integrate thermal energy storage systems to use to generate electricity during cloudy periods or for hours after sunset or before sunrise.This ability to store solar energy makes concentrating solar power a flexible and dispatchable source of renewable energy.