The DLR site in Jülich is located about 60 kilometres west of Cologne and, since mid-2011, has been home to a working group of the Institute for Solar Research. On 1 July 2011, DLR acquired the Solar Thermal Test and Demonstration Power Plant Jülich (STJ) from Stadtwerke Jülich GmbH (Jülich Public Utility Company).
The world's largest artificial Sun started shining in Jülich on 23 March 2017. Johannes Remmel, the North Rhine-Westphalia Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection, joined Georg Menzen of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie; BMWi) and Karsten Lemmer, Executive Board Member for Energy and Transportation at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), to inaugurate the new research facility Synlight.
How will the technologies for the production of electricity from solar energy develop in the coming decades? Which technology is the most economical? What opportunities do the combination of multiple systems offer? A study conducted under the leadership of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) examined the future development of photovoltaic and solar thermal power plants up to 2030.
South Africa has plentiful solar energy and, at the same time, possesses a large aluminium processing industry. Researchers and industry are cooperating within the SOLAM (solar melting of aluminium in a directly radiated rotary kiln) project to develop a method by which aluminium foundries could use solar energy to melt this metal.