CONCENTRATED SOLAR Technology Platform organized within the First Symposium on Concentrated Solar Thermal Technology held on 3 and 4 November a round table for medium temperature.

These are the conclusions:

  • There is an important niche market for industrial process heat and building heating and cooling systems.
  • Spain needs to maintain its leadership position in concentrating solar technologies and take the opportunity of the new deployment of medium temperature applications. For this the existing knowledge, research capability and strong Spanish industrial foundation in these technologies needs to be capitalised.
  • A variety of applicable technologies currently exist, such as absorber tubes and Fresnel and parabolic trough systems. However, there is still a limited offer of commercial products, especially as some of the most appropriate technologies for medium temperature are the least deployed worldwide up until this moment.
  • The cost of solar thermal heat is in some cases already lower than that of conventional energy.
  • There is a significant lack of understanding by possible users of the potential of medium temperature concentrating solar technologies. Communication, advocacy and promotion activities are therefore necessary.
  • To effectively disseminate, educate, promote and deploy the technologies it´s imperative to count on innovative pilots. These pilots require direct public funding support, innovative public procurement is proposed as the most adequate mechanism.
  • Highlighted is the important advocacy and promotion role that energy service companies can play in the deployment of these technologies.
  • It is necessary that financial institutions understand these technologies. With this in mind they are one of the main targets in the promotion endeavors, with the focus of proving them with information on the technical and economic viability of these technologies.
  • A few decades ago, in Spain, there were some developments in these technologies unfortunately there are no available results. This new phase will endeavor to document all valuable learning through correct monitoring and dissemination of key findings.
  • The development of this sector must be undertaken with maximum guarantees, for this to happen the following is necessary:
  • Establish minimum technical requirements for design, assembly, installation, commissioning and maintenance.
  • Foster the development of quality enterprises for installing and other energy services.
  • Develop norms at national and international level that ensure the quality of the products and installation, as is customary in the majority of other sectors.
  • Implement a prerequisite for companies to offer a minimum of 5 years guarantee for the efficiency and reliability of the installation.
  • With regards to Research and Innovation, the following is necessary:
  1. Have access to infrastructure for development and testing prototypes.
  2. Have the necessary capacity and resources for training enterprises in this sectors, such as engineering firms, installers, certification companies, etc.
  3. Establish a (Spanish) National Research Roadmap with the objective of reducing the costs of the systems and develop new systems and thermodynamic cycles.