Estela calls on Spain to continue support for Concentrating Solar Power

The European Solar Thermal Electricity Association ESTELA held its third Industry Forum which took place in Cologne on 14 and 15 February. In addition to their companies and research centres partners, took part representatives of the German Government and the Nord Rhine Wesphalia as well as institutions like the European Commission, IRENA, the International Energy Agency and the European Investment Bank.

Dr. Luis Crespo, President of ESTELA, welcomed to the attendees jointly with the Minister of Innovation by Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia, Mrs. Svenja Schulze, who highlighted the expectations of this technology and the role of European industry and research centers and presented regional government support for research in this technology, which has its leading representative in the 1 MW central tower installed in Jülich near Cologne, and is being dedicated to advanced research in central systems receiver.

The Forum addressed the situation of the European Solar Thermal Industry analyzing the policies and the key factors for its development with financial and macroeconomic impact, such as job creation, which contribute to its wide deployment in countries of the so called, solar belt.

It was also analyzed the positive influence that will result from the future single European electricity market and expanded market with our neighbors in the Mediterranean area in the construction of CSP plants. The development of interconnection infrastructure will play an essential role.

The attendees addressed the issue of the challenges belonging to technological innovation and the need to increase cross-connection between companies and research centers.

All the participants agreed in their worrying about the consequences that the recent halt on renewable support by the Spanish government could have to keep the leading position of European companies, particularly Spanish, in the current take-off time of solar thermal technology worldwide.

ESTELA makes a call on the Government of Spain to soon resume the supports to renewable energies and encourages it to regulate the next deployment of CSP plants in Spain until 2020.

On the other hand, ESTELA celebrated the success of a Spanish company in the recent award of the first two solar thermal power plants in South Africa under the REFIT and the progress of construction projects of CSP plants in the U.S., India, Morocco, Australia, etc.

ESTELA also held its General Assembly in which Luis Crespo was elected president by a unanimous decision of the attendees.

The European association of the solar thermal industry, ESTELA, was founded 5 years ago and currently has 60 members, which include some national associations, so that in total represents about 200 companies and research centers. ESTELA is considered the voice of the European solar thermal industry and actively collaborates particularly with European institutions and the Commission and Parliament, and contributes to the promotion of solar thermal technology worldwide.