ESTELA proudly welcomes ENGIE as new member. ENGIE is a major actor in the energy world committed to responsible growth of its businesses in response to the central challenges of the energy transition towards a low-carbon economy: providing access to sustainably generated energy, combating climate change, reducing its effect and making responsible use of natural resources. ENGIE is developing innovative, effective solutions for all its customers, whether households or professionals, towns or regions, businesses or industry, in the following key sectors: renewable energies, energy efficiency, natural gas, LNG, and the digital technology of the future.
ENGIE enters the Executive Committee of the Association and will actively contribute to ESTELA strategic action in close contact with the other ESTELA members.
The STE/CSP industry sees today as main obstacles to a deployment of STE/CSP in Europe the outdated perceptions by political personnel of:
- The real cost level of CSP: As shown by the recent offers in Dubai, the industry has divided STE/CSP costs by 3 in the last 10 years with only 1% of the wind or 2 % of the PV global market volume. Such cost level alone makes STE/CSP solutions applicable and competitive today against any combination of variable renewables with storage in battery, via power to gas, etc. that still need to be demonstrated respectively brought to maturity for bulk power storage purposes. Furthermore, such a cost drop opens a realistic perspective on further cost reductions towards 6 cts/kWh as soon as some 10-20 GW of STE/CSP will be installed worldwide – embedded in truly ambitious energy transition strategies and investment frameworks.
- The complementarity between variable and dispatchable RES: beyond the still available overcapacities and transfer capacities for balancing power in Europe – that will not last for ever – this complementarity that should lead in due time to better balance between variable and manageable technologies has been well understood by non-European countries such as Morocco or the UAE which logically lead to major investments in technology solutions including STE/CSP.
- The real “spread” of the STE/CSP industry across some 10 EU countries: Political authorities in several EU countries confuse the likelihood of installing STE/CSP units on their respective territories and the interests of their own industry along the entire STE/CSP value chain on world markets which a deployment of STE/CSP in Europe would also support.
- The growing threat on EU technology leadership with serious risks of “take-overs at lowest cost” of industry know-how holders and R&D infrastructure by non-EU companies acting on non-market economy grounds.
“Based on today’s offers for STE/CSP major installations worldwide, it’s essential to correct such obsolete ideas about the true STE/CSP value potential also for Europe via a strong coordination of actions at national level by the industry and the action of ESTELA in Brussels,” said Mr J. Sandhu, ENGIE Director of Solar, Energy Storage and Transmission.
Solar Thermal Electricity, also known as concentrated solar power, is a renewable energy technology that uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy and convert it into high-temperature heat to create steam to drive a turbine that generates electricity. STE is a carbon-free source of electricity that is best suited to areas in the world with strong irradiation: Southern Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, South Africa, parts of India, China, Southern USA and Australia.