European Solar Thermal Electricity Association, ESTELA, is sorry to bear the sad news of the passing of Prof. Valeriano Ruiz, a co-founder of ESTELA in 2007 and its Vice-President until 2011 and a pioneer of solar thermal technology since the 1970s.

Prof. Valeriano Ruiz, a co-founder of ESTELA in 2007 and its Vice-President until 2011, has recently passed away. He was a pioneer in the field of solar thermal electricity in the 1970s. From his position, initially as a professor and later as a professor of thermodynamics at the Engineering School of Seville, he transmitted the values of concentrating solar power technology, both electric and thermal, and his enthusiasm for it, to many engineers who were his students and formed a pool of professionals that made Spain’s leadership in this field a reality. Some of them were directors of the Almeria Solar Platform, to which he felt so close and which was a key element in R&D supporting the development of the sector. He wrote about this in the book he promoted and edited “La Electricidad Termosolar. Historia de Exito de la Investigación”.

Prior to be one of the founding members of ESTELA, he promoted the creation of the Spanish association of CSP – Protermosolar, in 2004, together with half a dozen large companies and played an essential role in removing previous obstacles to the development of the regulatory framework that allowed the deployment of solar thermal power plants in Spain. He also encouraged and advised on the construction of the first commercial solar thermal power plant, PS10 in Sanlúcar la Mayor, which in 2007 marked the rebirth of the solar thermal electricity (STE) sector worldwide, which had been at a standstill since 1990.

“Without his determination and commitment, it would have been impossible to understand how the fifty solar thermal power plants in Spain could have been built,” commented Dr. Luis Crespo, former President of ESTELA and Protermosolar, and Jose Luis Martinez Dalmau, current President of ESTELA and former Vice-President of Protermosolar. Both have conducted, through Protermosolar, difficult negotiations to prevent the first attempt for retroactive measures against the renewables sector in 2010.

ESTELA would like to express its gratitude and recognition for the contributions made by Prof. Valeriano Ruiz to the STE sector for so many years, hoping that his contribution will remain indelible in the history of the energy sector in Europe.