- Date: Thursday, 11 May 2017
- Time: 16:00 - 17:00
- Venue: The Cyprus Institute – Guy Ourisson Building, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus
- Speaker: Prof. Manuel J. Blanco, European Research Area Chair in Solar Thermal Technologies for the Eastern Mediterranean Energy, The Cyprus Institute (Environment and Water Research Center - EEWRC)
After decades of research and development, concentrating solar thermal (CST) power plants (also known as concentrating solar power (CSP) and as Solar Thermal Electricity or STE systems) are now starting to be widely commercialized. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that by 2050, with sufficient support over ten percent of global electricity could be produced by concentrating solar thermal power plants. However, CSP plants are just but one of the many possible applications of CST systems. The presentation will provide an overview of the latest advances in CST systems research and technology. It will explain the challenges the different CST technologies are confronted with, the research that is taking place worldwide to address those challenges, and the impact that the innovation that this research is fostering could have on the emergence of new CST components and concepts.
Prof. Manuel Blanco has more than thirty years of experience as a solar researcher and engineer, contributing to advancing the state-of-the-art of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies. He is an expert on Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Optics, and Modelling of Energy Systems. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Seville (Spain) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Applied Physics from the University of Massachusetts – Lovell, (USA). Since September 2016, he is Full Professor and European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Solar Thermal Technologies for the Eastern Mediterranean of the Energy Division of The Cyprus Institute’s Energy, Environment and Water Research Centre (EEWRC). He is also Chair of the Executive Committee of SolarPACES - the Technology Collaboration Programme of the International Energy Agency responsible for promoting the development and deployment of solar thermal power technologies and the solar-assisted manufacture of fuels and chemicals. Until August 2016, he was Science Leader of the Solar Energy Systems Research Group of CSIRO - Australia’s National Research Agency, and Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI). He is former Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Department of the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER); Chair and Full Professor of the Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Brownsville; and Director of the Plataforma Solar de Almería of CIEMAT, the world’s largest solar research infrastructure. He participated in the studies and in the decision-making process that culminated in the regulation of the Feed-In-Tariffs for renewable energy technologies in Spain, and participated as a consultant for the World Bank in Feed-In-Tariff and in studies of the economic impact of CST technologies in India. He has also participated in a large number of techno-economic feasibility studies for a large number of CST power plants in Spain and in the detailed feasibility study of a CST power plant in Botswana. He is the author of numerous scientific publications, and participates, in a senior capacity, in a large number of national and international expert groups and committees.