ESTTPA European Technology Platform for the Solar Thermal sector and beyond
Project details: FP6 Specific Support Action (SSA)
Full title: Supporting the development of a European Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap
Contract number: 038604
Project duration: 07/03/2007- 06/03/2010
Website: www.esttp.org / www.rhc-platform.org
Technology Platforms are critical to define the future development of a technology. In order to strengthen the pan-European understanding of and vision for solar thermal technology, especially within the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, an Initiator Group has been working towards a European Solar Thermal Technology Platform (ESTTP) since the beginning of 2005.
The ESTTP Initiator Group was founded by several active members of both the European Solar Thermal Industry Association (ESTIF) and the European Renewable Energy Centres Agency (EUREC Agency), both of which strongly support the platform.
In May 2006, the Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling industry, together with research and academia, officially launched this European Technology Platform with a view to defining the research and development priorities for the solar thermal heating and cooling sector: the ESTTP was born.
Since March 2007 the Secretariat of the ESTTP enjoys the financial support of the European Commission through the FP6 Specific Support Action "SecESTTP".
The goal of the SecESTTP is to support the Platform to develop a strategic research agenda for the solar thermal sector, which will help the industry, the research community as well as public funding bodies to focus on high-impact topics. This will reinforce the technological leadership of the European solar thermal sector which is key to boosting the deployment of solar thermal technologies in Europe as well as worldwide export of this sector’s products.
More specifically, the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform aims to:
- Strengthen awareness of the huge potential of solar thermal technologies to contribute to a sustainable energy system of the future
- Increase the R&D activities in the solar thermal sector
- Accelerate the development of the solar thermal technology
- Prepare the conditions for a broad dissemination of advanced solar thermal technologies
Since 2006, more than 200 stakeholders have regularly met in order to draft the 2030 Vision and the sector’s Strategic Research Agenda, which was published and largely disseminated at the end of 2008.
During 2008, future development steps for ESTTP were considered, in particular the possibility of ESTTP including the entire range of renewable energy technologies for heating and cooling (solar thermal, biomass, geothermal, renewable district heating, renewable cogeneration) arose. Finally, on the 29th September 2008, the ESTTP Steering Committee voted in favour of the creation of such an enlarged RHC-Platform (European Technology Platform for Renewable Heating and Cooling). This initiative counted from the beginning on the strong support and formal endorsement from the European Commission.
The enlarged Platform for renewable heating and cooling became operative on 15 December 2008, when the ESTTP Steering Committee met in Brussels with representatives of the biomass, geothermal and district heating & cooling sectors. In 2009 the RHC-Platform finalised its structure which is now the following:
EUREC ROLE IN SEC-ESTTP AND IN RHC-PLATFORM
Under the coordination of ESTIF, EUREC Agency is co-managing the Secretariat of the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform and is responsible for the support of the content development of the ESTTP in the topics that are related to Research and Development (Strategic Research Agenda, needed research infrastructure). EUREC Agency assists the relative working groups with drafting reports, minutes of meetings, contributing to website etc.
More precisely, EUREC Agency is responsible for Focus Group 2 on “Solar Thermal Systems for industrial applications”, led by Dr. Werner Weiss from AEE Intec (Austria). EUREC Agency is also in charge to put forward proposals on R&D infrastructure(s) for the solar thermal sector in line with the Solar Thermal Outlook.
Having led the process towards the creation of a European Renewable Heating and Cooling Technology Platform from the ESTTP, and being recognised as the most authoritative representative of the European research community in all renewable energy technologies, EUREC Agency is today up to the ambitious challenge of playing the steering role within the Secretariat of the RHC-Platform.