The Cyprus Institute (CyI) has been awarded a European Research Area (ERA) Chair grant of 2.5 million Euros in the field of Solar Thermal Energy (STE). The grant is intended to allow CyI to develop excellence on a European level in the relevant field; it constitutes recognition for the successful research work being pursued at CyI in this very important research area. Following a highly competitive process, CyI secured one of the 13 grants awarded out of the 88 proposals submitted from 15 countries.
Part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme, the ERA Chairs are intended to support research organisations in countries with low research and development investment (such as Cyprus) to attract and maintain high quality scientists from across the European Union and implement the structural changes necessary to achieve excellence in specific fields of research.
The secured European funding will enhance and upgrade the already existing substantial activity in solar energy at the Institute, establishing the organisation as an innovation hub for Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The principal focus of this work will be on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies for electricity production, desalination, air conditioning and heating, either in isolation or in cogeneration modalities. Of particular importance is the research being pursued at the Institute in thermal energy storage and the design of high efficiency solar receivers with integrated storage capability.
A significant part of the approved research program will be carried out at the unique coastal experimental concentrated solar power and desalination facility of CyI at the south coast of Cyprus (Pentakomo), which is currently under commissioning. The Pentakomo facility and the ERA chair program hold the promise to allow Cyprus to distinguish itself as one of the few countries in Europe and the world with pioneering facilities and research in the emerging innovative field of solar thermal energy.