ESTELA, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association, is a non-profit association created in 2007. ESTELA represents more than 50 members from the industry and research institutions, active along the whole STE value chain. Joining hands with national associations – Protermosolar (Spain), ANEST (Italy), Deutsche CSP (Germany) and the SER-CSP (France), ESTELA is devoted to promoting solar thermal electricity not only in Europe, but also in MENA region and worldwide. To act widely, ESTELA with AUSTELA and SASTELA in 2012 jointly created STELA World. Today, ESTELA is the largest industry association in the world promoting the solar thermal electricity sector.
CIEMAT is a Public Research Institution owned by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (www.ciemat.es). Since its founding in 1951, it has developed and led R+D projects in the fields of Energy, Environment and Technology, placing the institution at the forefront of science and technology. Its activities include the promotion, introduction and improvement of renewable energies on the energy market, as well as promotion of technology transfer, training and scientific outreach. With 1367 employees, 57% graduated, CIEMAT has a wide presence at international scientific and technical forums. In addition to the head offices and laboratories located in Madrid, CIEMAT owns several research centers in Spain. The Plataforma Solar de Almería, PSA, (www.psa.es) is one of these outlying centers located in Southern Spain. PSA is formally considered a European Large Scientific Installation and is also the largest R+D center in the World devoted to solar thermal concentrating systems (research, development, and testing of concentrated solar thermal technologies). CIEMAT participation in this project will be undertaken by the PSA staff. With a wide and long-lasting international collaboration with many other R+D centers and industries, the main PSA objectives are the contribution to the establishment of a sustainable and clean world energy supply, as well as the technical and scientific promotion of concentrating solar thermal technologies and derived solar chemical processes, in order to contribute to the development of a competitive solar thermal industry. PSA is coordinating the EERA Joint Programme on CSP (Concentrated Solar Power). PSA has also coordinated the European STAGE-STE project (2014-2017, http://www.stage-ste.eu/), a successful Integrated Research Project that, among other outstanding results, has enhanced a fruitful and wide participation of the CSP sector in the activities of the Temporary Working Group preparing the implementation plan for the CSP SET Plan.
ENEA is the name for Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. It is the second major Italian research organization, with around 2500 staff employees distributed in its 9 research centres all over the national territory. The Agency’s activities are mainly focused on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Sources, Nuclear Energy, Climate and the Environment, Safety and Health, New Technologies, Electric System Research.
ENEA’s multidisciplinary competences and great expertise in managing complex research projects are put at the disposal of the Country system. Specifically, its activities are devoted to: basic, mission-oriented, and industrial research exploiting wide-ranging expertise as well as experimental facilities, specialized laboratories, advanced equipment. ENEA also develops new technologies and advanced applications; provides public and private bodies with high-tech services, studies, measurements, tests and assessments; delivers training and information activities aimed at providing greater public knowledge and awareness on the Agency’s fields of competence, and a higher level of dissemination and transfer of research results, thus promoting their exploitation for production purposes.
ENEA is among the top research institute worldwide on CSP technology, working on R&D, technology transfer and training. It has the ownership of several patents and exclusive skills, and collaborates with a number of stakeholders within several international initiatives aimed at enhancing and diffusing CSP (e.g. IEA, EERA). The research activities are focused on: design, development and demonstration of CSP for power production, cogeneration and water desalination, also integrated with other renewable or fossil sources and including small applications; building of prototypes, testing & qualification of innovative components; development of new concentrated solar technology applications. ENEAs CSP activities involve 70 researchers and technicians, experimental infrastructures, a wide network of industrial stakeholders and agreements with several countries interested in building solar plants especially in the MENA Region, South Africa and China.
DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.) is Germany’s Aerospace Research Establishment and focuses its program of work on the four key areas: aviation, space flight, traffic and energy technology. With approximately 8.000 employees, the German Aerospace Center is the largest establishment for engineering sciences, research and management in Germany. DLR maintains research centers in Cologne, Stuttgart, Berlin, Braunschweig, Lampoldshausen, Göttingen and Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany. It is sustained by public funds and third party financing.
DLR’s Institute of Solar Research is the largest research entity in Germany investigating and developing concentrating solar technologies to provide heat, electricity and fuel. DLR has been conducting research in this field for more than 30 years and bundled its activities in the Institute of Solar Research in 2011. Over 150 scientist and engineers belonging to the DLR Institute of Solar Research represent one of the world’s leading research groups in the field of concentrating solar systems. R&D work is performed at own test facilities and laboratories in Cologne, Jülich and Stuttgart and through its permanent delegation at the leading test center for concentrating solar technologies, the Plataforma Solar in Almería, Spain, within a long-lasting collaboration with CIEMAT. The Institute of Solar Research seeks to build bridges between basic public research, large-scale projects and industrial applications. Its research activities focus on technical feasibility issues, on increasing the overall efficiency and on lowering the cost of concentrating solar systems.
Global networking takes place mainly through the SolarPACES implementing agreement (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and directly through the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling tasks. Nationally, DLR is affiliated to the ‘Renewable Energy Research Association (FVEE)’, whose members research and develop technology for the utilization of renewable energy and its integration in energy systems, energy efficiency improvement, and energy storage. Twice in succession, in 2006 and in 2009, the working group on concentrating solar technologies was awarded the title ‘DLR Center of Excellence’ for its scientific, technological and economic performance.
Middle East Technical University (METU) is a public research university founded in 1956. METU is the first and only university in Turkey to enter the top 100 in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014 list, and in 2016 was ranked as the top public university in Turkey by the QC World University Rankings. METU has 107 graduate and 69 doctorate programs available in the Graduate Schools of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Informatics, Applied Mathematics, and Marine Sciences. METU has approximately 800 faculty members (professors, associate professors, and assistant professors), 225 academic instructors, and 1300 research assistants, and over 28 000 students. METU was founded with an explicitly international mission to serve the larger Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East regions as reflected in its language of instruction always being English. METU is the leading university in Turkey in terms of depth and breadth of international ties and the amount of funds generated from international research projects.
METU is home to the multi-disciplinary Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications (GÜNAM). GÜNAM is the largest and most comprehensive solar energy research center in Turkey. GÜNAM’s Mission and Vision are as follows:
Mission: To create solutions to energy related societal challenges by