The Spanish market for Industrial Solar Heat (SHIP) is still small: Currently, there are only three installations ongoing across the country (see screen shot). Now, the Spanish Solar Concentra platform intends to support market development by identifying 130 potential industrial SHIP clients with no access to the piped natural gas grid, but sufficient space for a solar thermal installation in the south of Spain. Diego Crespo, Project Engineer at the Protermosolar association, the coordinator of Solar Concentra, presented this approach during a webinar on 16 November. The organiser of the webinar, Spanish-based consultancy ATA Insights, has uploaded a recording and his presentation to its website.
“After conducting a study that estimated the solar heat prices of concentrating solar technologies for industrial clients in 2015, we realised that the study did not really generate business,” Crespo explained during the webinar. That was when Solar Concentra decided to try a new approach, going from making observations to putting them into practice.
The project engineer explained the methodology as follows: First, global irradiation data was used to identify Spanish regions which show the very high solar potential necessary for attaining the best possible payback periods of below five years. In a second step, all municipalities where piped natural gas is available were removed from consideration, as the gas is the strongest competition for SHIP (left map below). Third, the authors of the study identified industries suitable for implementing SHIP throughout the above-mentioned municipalities. Examples were food and beverage, textile, agriculture, and pulp and paper. Then, the available space of both roof and closed areas at the factory sites was analysed via Google Maps, which led to 130 companies from southern Spain being shortlisted (map on the right).
Analysis of largest solar resources among municipalities with no natural gas grid (left) and identification of SHIP-relevant manufacturing businesses with sufficient space available (right).
Source: Solar Concentra
“We arranged meetings with some of these companies to discuss our approach. And, indeed, we have visited companies that use LPG or diesel and are interested in further information about SHIP,” Crespo said during the webinar. Solar Concentra has so far handed out parts of the potential client list to six SHIP developers using concentrating solar collector solutions. “We only provide the data to technology suppliers that also provide us with feedback in order to monitor how this technology is evolving in Spain,” Crespo said. Companies based in Spain or abroad that are interested in receiving parts of the potential client list to implement SHIP projects can contact him directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Solar Concentra was founded in 2010 and has grown to a network of 112 organisations, from R&D centres and SHIP plant suppliers to universities and associations. It is coordinated by the Protermosolar association and receives support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. The network established two working groups. One, Concentrating Solar Technology, focuses on technical developments in power generation. The second, Medium Temperature, aims to foster SHIP deployment.
Websites of organisations mentioned in this article: