On Friday, 21 April 2023, PROTERMOSOLAR, a Spanish Association for CSP Industry and ESTELA Member, joined Solar Impulse Foundation and three other renewable associations (EuroACE, Energy Efficiency Capital Advisors and Vertex Bioenergy) to discuss the upcoming National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) update.
With more than 50 concentrated solar power plants in Spain, the country is in an excellent position to drive their energy transition with CSP, a mature and accessible technology available now. We Are looking forward to have this reflected in the updated NECP.
MITERD has summoned Protermosolar and the main associations of the sector to the summit on April 27 to analyze the future of the PNIEC. The new PNIEC must address how to decarbonize the Spanish industry and the electricity sector, in which the determining role of solar thermal energy in the energy transition must be reinforced.
On April 21, Protermosolar presented to the Third Vice President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITERD), Teresa Ribera, the key role that solar thermal energy must play in the decarbonization of the electricity sector and the industrial sector. with a view to the next revision of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC).
The decarbonization of the electricity and industrial sectors are presented as determinants for the achievement of the objectives of the PNIEC, among which we highlight: 72% renewables in the electricity sector, 42% renewables in the final use of energy and 23% reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG).
In fact, according to the latest report of the national GHG inventory, prepared by MITERD, the sectors with the greatest contribution to these emissions are: transport (27%), industry (20.8%), agriculture (14%) and electricity generation. (11.8%). ).
Regarding the decarbonization of the electricity sector, Protermosolar considers that the revision of the PNIEC must face a real decarbonization based on power and not only on energy, as up to now. We currently have an installed capacity that exceeds 2.5 times the energy demand, since we have not yet been able to replace fossil technologies, since these are the guarantors of the stability and manageability of the system.
Protermosolar has recently carried out a study in collaboration with the Comillas Pontifical University in which it is verified that, for a real decarbonisation of the sector, the electrical system must bet on renewable technologies with backup and storage, among which solar thermal with thermal storage stands out. It must play a decisive role thanks to being able to generate from sunrise to sunset with a security and stability of supply comparable to fossil technologies.
In addition, solar thermal technology does not depend on the volatility of electricity markets or supplies beyond western borders, being capable of supplying materials and equipment without resorting to the use of critical materials.
Regarding the decarbonization of the industrial sector, Protermosolar recalls that currently 75% of industrial demand is in the form of heat and that 90% is satisfied with the burning of fossil fuels. It should be noted that the industry has very few competitive alternatives, which does represent concentrated solar thermal energy (solar thermal self-consumption). This solution, which currently has costs between 20 and 50 euros/MWh, is capable of supplying heat from renewable sources to industries such as food, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper, textiles, to decarbonise industrial processes such as bleaching. , boiling, cleaning, distillation, drying, hot water production, pasteurization, sterilization or washing, among others.
In addition, thermal storage not only makes it possible to provide heat to the industry at night, but is also capable of channeling excess electrical discharges from the electrical system towards industrial heat (the so-called «Power to heat») through the use of electric heaters with a performance close to 100%, much higher than any other technological alternative.
In view of the review of the PNIEC, scheduled for June, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has summoned Protermosolar and the main associations of the sector to the summit that will analyze the future National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), the next April 27.