Solar thermal power plants based upon solar concentration systems, CSP, have registered an outstanding reduction of costs in the last 10 years. Since 2010, the reduction has reached 47%, with the forecast to achieve up to 79% by year 2022, according to the analysis published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In spite of the relatively low installed capacity worldwide, 7,000 MW, the CSP technology has demonstrated a significant decrease of Levelized Cost of Electricity or LCOE thanks to scaling up, the deployment in regions with excellent solar resource and the reduction of the CAPEX.
Beyond that, the ambition of CSP is to play a key role also in other sites with more modest solar resource and to support the strategy of achieving a massive penetration of renewable energy within the primary energy consumption by 2030. In the case of Spain, the objectives in the forthcoming National Integrated Plan on Energy and Climate proposed a goal of 74% renewable electricity and 42% primary energy of renewable origin by year 2030. Solar concentration can contribute to this high penetration of renewable energy thanks to the use of large thermal energy storage systems and by integrating solar energy into industrial process heat and the production of solar fuels for transport, like hydrogen. Those are the key priorities behind the project ACES2030, that puts all the capacities and know-how of research centres, universities and industry mostly located in Comunidad de Madrid to the service of the objectives for 2030.
The consortium is composed by research groups with solid experience in technologies and applications of solar concentration like IMDEA Energía, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, CSIC, CIEMAT, UPM, UC3M y UNED, the Laboratory of Mechanical Integrity (LIM) of URJC, the Spanish Association of CSP industry PROTERMOSOLAR and the companies Empresarios Agrupados, Abengoa Energía, Grupo Cobra, Rioglass Solar and REPSOL. The structure of the project promotes the synergy between experimental facilities and labs in the CSP field based in Comunidad de Madrid, serving as a support to the R&D activities in industry, with the ambition to become the seed of the future Singular Large R&D Facility on CSP in Comunidad de Madrid (Madrid’s Platform on Solar Concentration).
Contact: Manuel Romero, Research Professor at the High Temperature Processes Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The project ACES2030-CM (S2018/EMT-4319) is funded by the Programme of R&D of Research Groups of Comunidad de Madrid in Technologies 2018, co-funded with European Structural Funds.