The potential of applying solar energy for industrial purposes is still largely untapped. Using solar energy to provide the heat or cooling necessary to industrial processes that need high reliability and high quality heat and cooling and continuous operation requires innovative advances in solar energy technology. Also, industrial processes might need to be adapted to the use of the solar resource. Industrial actors expect solutions with limited installation, maintenance and operation requirements and which are easy to operate. This challenge is also in line with the roadmap of the SPIRE cPPP.
Support will be given to solutions that cover by means of solar thermal energy the highest possible share of the heating and/or cooling demand of one or more industrial processes. In the case of heating, the process temperature shall be higher than 150°C. Individual industrial sites and/or industrial parks (coupled to a district heating and/or cooling network) are in the scope.
Proposals are expected to bring the technologies to TRL 4-5 (please see part G of the General Annexes).
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
An increased decarbonisation of the industrial sector, a reduced dependency on fossil fuels and a reduction of emission of air pollutants are expected. Furthermore, the project should create significant visibility to the potential of applying solar thermal energy in industrial processes, especially in those EU countries where such systems currently have very limited or no application. The knowledge generated by the project should contribute to the development of relevant BREFs under the Industrial Emissions Directive.
Illustration Photo: Solar mirror field and power tower at Sundrop Farm near Port Augusta, Australia. This farm uses solar power to help grow tomatoes and capsicums using very saline water in a near-desert environment. (credits: David Clarke / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))