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International Conference on Solar Thermal Technologies deliberates on potential of Concentrated Solar Power Integration in India’s Renewable Energy Ecosystem

  • Two-day conference focuses on Supply Chain, Economic Viability and Storage Applications of Concentrated Solar Power in India

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) have jointly organized a two-day International Conference on Solar Thermal Technologies in New Delhi during February 12 – 13, 2024, to deliberate on integration of Solar Thermal and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) storage with Renewable Technologies. The conference aims to understand the global landscape in Solar Thermal technologies, their integration with renewable energy power generation sources, storage applications, and the potential of such applications in the Indian context. [Concentrated solar power (CSP) is used to produce electricity (sometimes called solar thermoelectricity, usually generated through steam). Concentrated-solar technology systems use mirrors or lenses with tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight onto a small area. Concentrated light is then used as heat or as a heat source for a conventional power plant (solar thermoelectricity).]

The conference was inaugurated on February 12, 2024, by Secretary, New & Renewable Energy, Shri Bhupinder Singh Bhalla; MD, SECI Shri R P Gupta; and Director General, NSEFI, Shri Deepak Gupta. At the inauguration, the Secretary highlighted India’s significant progress in solar PV growth and its ambitious targets, emphasizing the need for new technologies like Solar Thermal and concentrated solar power, to achieve reliable and emission-free generation. He expressed hope that the conference would pave the way forward for CSP in India.

SECI CMD Shri R P Gupta emphasized the global emergence of Solar Thermal Technology and Concentrated Solar Power with storage as promising solutions, suitable for India’s ambitious energy targets. Director General, NSEFI, Shri Deepak Gupta discussed India’s solar PV revolution and advocated for exploring CSP to accelerate the nation’s energy transition, believing it could mark the beginning of a Solar Thermal revolution.

On day 1 of the conference yesterday, international experts and industry shared their experiences and chalked out India’s potential in these areas. Industry representatives and speakers from Belgium, Israel, Spain, and Germany shared their experiences and presented Global case studies and financial viability of such projects in these countries.

The speakers emphasized that solar thermal is slowly emerging as a promising solution, offering substantial advantages for long-duration energy storage. It was pointed out that solar thermal presents the capability to support India’s Firm and Dispatchable Renewable Energy (FDRE) requirements, including round-the-clock power supply, meeting the diverse demands of consumers.

A special session addressed by speakers from SECI brought out the broad features of the proposed tender for supply of FDRE through blending of CSP with other RE technologies.

The second day of the conference features speakers from academia, research institutions and financial institutions, along with industry representatives from across the globe.