European Concentrated Solar Thermal Roadmap (ECOSTAR)

Project Number 252

The power generation costs of solar thermal power plants amount to 15 Euro-ct/kWh at the moment. Solar thermal power plants are therefore not competitive with fossil-fired power plants, even in areas where there are long hours of sunshine.

The study investigates the cost reduction potential for solar thermal power plants. The aim is to reduce the power generation costs in the next 15 years by a factor of three to four. To do this, the future developments of components of parabolic trough and solar tower power plants will be analysed and evaluated.

The use of storage technologies will allow such solar thermal power plants to be integrated in the power plant park in the best possible way.

The task of the energy industry association (VGB) is to evaluate the developments suggested by the relevant research institutes from the point of view of realistic aspects.

The EU-funded research project will be carried out in the period from December 1, 2003, to January 31, 2005, to be coordinated by the Deutsche Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e. V., Cologne, and managed by Professor Robert Pitz-Paal. Project partners are Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas (CIEMAT), Spain; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France; Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), Israel; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland; Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IVTAN), Russia; VGB PowerTech e. V., Germany.