Strategic Research Agenda 2020-2025

The Strategic Research Agenda is the first-of-its-kind for the Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) technology in Europe. Drafted by highly qualified expert researchers in Europe composing ESTELA’s Scientific and Technical Committee, it sets a solid basis for present and future research until 2025. Uncertainty deters market penetration for any technology. The diversity of viable technical approaches for solar thermal energy conversion is one of the great advantages of STE, because different options have the potential to address different needs and market niches most effectively. Diversity also poses challenges, because there is some uncertainty associated with each option. Uncertainty derives from many sources, from weather to the changing political and economic environment. Another source arises from technology itself, and from the expectation of future technological advances. Fortunately, support for research and development is an effective tool to lower this uncertainty, and governments and consortia can wield this tool most effectively. It is the goal of this document to assist decision makers by providing a review of the current economic, financial and technological trends of the STE sector as well as the existing policy and legal framework in different countries within the EU. These are described in chapters 1 to 6. The detailed research topics and related targets for each technology constitute chapter 7. The topics are based on three main objectives defined by the STE industry.