What STE can deliver

What can CST deliver to the electricity sector?

The European solar thermal industry can provide green power on demand at utility scale without further delay using proven technology over decades, with a storage duration > 12h at lower costs than renewable electricity stored in batteries or hydrogen. This is the timely answer to the challenge of intermittency of PV and wind at sustainable costs. This is possible via:

  • Complementing PV generation after sunset which will contribute to achieve a more ambitious overall deployment of renewables with a higher impact on decarbonisation and prevent overinvestments in non-dispatchable technologies.
  • Constructing new innovative CSP plants with large thermal storage capacity in Southern Europe and EU neighbouring countries with the best solar resources.
  • Revamping not only existing CSP plants, but also fossil-fired installations with thermal storage facilities allowing a further use of existing generation and grid connection infrastructures.
  • Using all cooperation mechanisms provided by the EC between Member States and even with the EU Neighbourhood (Southern/ Eastern).


All this will result in substantially reduced PV curtailments, with an optimised use of natural resources across the continent, allowing shared benefits of bulk storage capacities and new strategic reserves among more Member States.

What can CST deliver to the decarbonization of the industry sector?

The European solar thermal industry can also provide power and high temperature heat (up to 900°C) with a very high capacity factor (7000h/year), at costs clearly below renewable fuels or electricity-based options, to enable the decarbonisation of industrial processes.

  • It allows an efficient operation of renewable fuel production facilities at constant load and at high capacity factors – both essential to reduce the fuel costs.
  • It has the potential to decarbonise heat grids, as it can provide and store heat more efficiently at suitable temperature levels (120°C), compared to non-concentrating collectors, even in central European climate zones.

This potential of concentrated solar thermal technologies (CST) is huge particularly for Southern Europe.


  • STE with thermal storage can make a sustainable energy transition happen right now, without waiting for “hoped-for-viability” of other solutions. It will help match the upcoming bulk storage needs in the electricity and process heat sectors that could be used for harder-to-decarbonise industries.
  • STE with thermal storage is a mature solar technology with a track record of over more than three decades and has already ‘pulled’ the development phase of a “solar industry” in Europe.