20 March 2018
The focus of this year's workshop was the latest cost reductions in electricity from solar thermal power plants. Right side of the picture: Dr. Kai Wieghardt, Institute of Solar Research, Head of the Department Solar Power Plant Technologie. Bild: DLR
The 9th Workshop of the Working Group Solar Thermal Power Plants within the Network Power Plant Technology North-Rhine Westphalia attracted more than 70 experts from research and industry to Jülich. In addition to the speakers from the German industry, the organizers were once again able to attract international experts as speakers and participants this year. This was not least due to the fact that the meeting of the executive committee of the SolarPACES research network (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) chaired by Prof. Robert Pitz-Paal, Director of the Institute of Solar Research, was held the following day in nearby Aachen.
The theme of the workshop this year was the recent cost reduction and the resulting breakthrough in the commercial use of solar thermal power plants. Within one year, the level of electricity prices negotiated for new CSP projects has nearly halved – and this to the same extend in different regions of the world. As a result, solar control energy - partly from plants that combine concentrated solar thermal power generation with photovoltaics - will be available in many countries at a predictably lower price than electricity from fossil fuels.
According to experts from the solar thermal power plant industry, the numerous projects for the construction of new solar thermal power plants worldwide will give new impetus and lead to a further reduction in the cost of solar thermal electricity.
"The figures reported here are likely to contribute to the market growing and the commitment of German industry in this technology continues to increase. The know-how from the German plant and power plant construction is urgently needed to ensure not only low costs but also reliable operation for more than 25 years ", hopes Pitz-Paal. "For us, the event in Jülich was also a great opportunity to present the Jülich Solar Tower and DLR’s new large-scale installation Synlight to the international guests of the SolarPACES network."
The topic of cost reductions will also play a major role at the next meeting of the Executive Committee in early October in Ouarzazate, Morocco, close to the world's largest solar thermal power plant park. There is expected the announcement of the bids for the first CSP-PV combined cycle power plant in Morocco.
The Institute for Solar Research is member of the working group Solar Thermal Power Plants in the Network Power Plant Technology NRW of the cluster EnergyRegion.NRW
of the EnergyAgency.NRW and supports the working group in the organisation of the event at the DLR site Jülich.
The SolarPACES research network (SolarPACES = Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) coordinates the collaboration of 19 participating nations in the field of concentrating solar technologies. In the executive committee, governing body of the network, each member country is represented.