More than 500 stakeholders from the academia, industry and government will network and exchange information at the upcoming Solar Power And Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES) Conference, taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy, and sustainable technologies, will co-host the event running from October 11-14 at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.


Masdar Institute shares the role of national host for the conference with the UAE Ministry of Energy. The event, which will be held from, will include around 300 technical contributions (oral and poster) and 30 plenary talks by leading experts.

It will be a forum for industry, research, political and financing stakeholders to discuss the future of concentrating solar energy, while offering an insight into new developments in technology, and the market presented by top experts in the field.

The conference is organized annually by SolarPACES, an international cooperative network that brings together experts from around the world and focuses on the development and marketing of concentrating solar power systems. It is one of a number of technology collaboration programs (TCPs) managed under the umbrella of the International Energy Agency to help find solutions to worldwide energy problems.

This year, Masdar Institute faculty and students are scheduled to present 17 abstracts. A total of 500 abstracts have already been submitted for the event according to the conference organizers, of which about 180 will be presented as oral presentations and about 200 as posters.

Dr Steve Griffiths, vice president for Research, Masdar Institute, said: “As the joint national host with the UAE Ministry of Energy, we are privileged to bring this key CSP conference to Abu Dhabi, which has become a key hub for clean and renewable energy. Solar power is the primary renewable energy resource for the Arabian Gulf region and will play an increasingly important role in meeting regional energy demand. This conference is central to knowledge exchange about solar energy and supports in continued innovation in the sector.”

The event will include the SolarPACES 2016 Technology Innovation Award that will acknowledge innovations relevant to rapid deployment of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, and the SolarPACES 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, which will honour the personal contributions of an individual throughout a major phase of his/her life to the successful development and implementation of CSP systems. A technical tour will include a visit to the 100MW Shams-1 CSP plant and the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP).

Masdar Institute continues its research initiatives in CSP technology through the MISP. A team of seven engineers and technicians currently working at the thermal energy storage (TES) pilot facility to demonstrate its performance over many charge/discharge cycles.

Dr Nicolas Calvet, assistant professor, Thermal Energy Storage Research Group Leader and Chair of MISP, said: “With our research collaborator EnergyNest, we are testing a new kind of high temperature concrete TES. Currently, we are operating the plant 24 hours a day to cumulate a certain number of cycles of charge and discharge between 290°C and 390°C. Up to now, we have reached more than 100 cycles. The goal is to demonstrate the durability of the system on a long term basis.”

Last year, Masdar Institute faculty and students presented 14 abstracts – nine oral presentations and five posters – at the 21st SolarPACES Conference in South Africa. A 15th abstract was also submitted by Masdar Institute in collaboration with Shams Power Company, builder and operator of one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power plants, in the UAE.