Concentrated Solar Power, also feasible in Flanders?

Concentrated Solar Power is a technology where sunlight is converted directly into heat. The process reaches temperatures up to 500 ° C. Therefore the heat can be perfectly applied in the industry. Interesting, because for industrial heat there is currently no truly renewable alternative in Flanders; everything happens with gas, fuel oil, coal or biomass.

Solar Heat

A solar heat installation has parabolic mirrors with a central vacuum tube. The thermal efficiency is high: at least two-thirds of the solar energy is converted into useful usable heat. This results in high temperatures, up to 500 ° C, which can also be used in industrial processes. The technology can make gas, fuel oil, coal or biomass redundant in industry.

Position paper Greenpeace and BBL

In Flanders there is no experience with this technology yet. Until now it was assumed that the technology is only profitable in very hot countries or desert-like regions. Due to new technological developments, that now seems to be changing. Pilot projects have been started up in the north of Denmark in recent years. That is why ‘Bond Beter Leefmilieu’ and Greenpeace wrote a position paper, with the request to also start a pilot project in Flanders and to investigate what the energetic and economic potential is for Flanders.

Discrete spatial integration

Because of the wind load and the weight of the parabolic mirrors, the installation can not simply be placed on a roof, as the case is with solar panels. So she has to stand on the ground. This can cause problems for local spatial planning. BBL and Greenpeace therefore argue for a local search for implantation options that fit within a good spatial planning. A search can be made for forms of co-use, agriculture or for nature development.

BBL and Greenpeace whitepaper

Position paper: Concentrated Solar Power in Vlaanderen
Study BBL and GreenpeaceConcentrated-solar-power-feasibility in Flanders