ESTELA is a European Industry Association created to support the emerging European solar thermal electricity industry for the generation of green power in Europe and abroad, mainly in the Mediterranean region.
ESTELA involves and is open to all main actors in Europe : promoters, developers, manufacturers, utilities, engineering companies, research institutions.
Key Success Factors for a Strong Market Growth
The emerging industry of solar thermal electricity has strong European roots. It is growing mainly due to the technical and economical success of the first projects and the stable green pricing or support mechanisms to bridge the initial gap in the electricity costs by e.g. feedin tariffs. Future growth will depend on a successful costs reduction and a strong effort in R&D to optimise the potential of technical improvement. In the long-term, new markets and market opportunities, as for instance the generation of solar thermal power in the south Mediterranean region and its transmission to other parts of Europe, will appear.
How to keep the momentum: The Role of the EU
"Push technology, pull demand, push generation"
ESTELA members ensure the solar thermal electricity industry contribution to the achievement of renewable energy objectives by 2020, provided that the necessary measures are taken both in the market and in research to support the efforts of the industry.
Market development and penetration:
ESTELA members believe that the European Union, in the short and medium-term should install demand pull instruments and promote support mechanisms such as feed-in-laws as most powerful instruments to push solar thermal electricity generation. At longer-term the European transmission grid should be opened for solar power from North Africa and secure this power import by implementing demand pull instruments and regional agreements.
For solar thermal power technologies the potential for research and innovation is still very important. Effort in How to keep the momentum: The Role of the EU Source: Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen The World's "Sun Belt"? The challenge in the coming years. The World's "Sun Belt"? that extends from latitudes 35? north to 35? south, receives several thousand times the world's energy demand: a resource which is currently not exploited. On the other hand, dramatic changes are to be introduced in the current energy systems to mitigate their negative impact on the environment and the world's climate. A large part of this enormous energy could be harnessed through solar thermal technologies, conveyed and used in a sustainable way. R&D is needed to develop and test new materials, components and system development (e.g. coatings, storage, direct steam/molten salt systems, adapted steam generators, beam down). Further research is also needed to improve transmission and grid. The European Union should continue to fund demonstration plants to push new technologies. This is of utmost importance as only proven technology is bankable.