European Solar Research Infrastructure for Concentrated Solar Power
General Info

Plataforma Solar de Almeria-CIEMAT

Carretera a Senés, km 4,5; 04200-Tabernas (Almeria), Spain

legal status




The European Solar Research Infrastructure for Concentrated Solar Power (EU-SOLARIS) is a distributed Research Infrastructure that aims to achieve a real coordination of Research and Technology Development (RTD) capabilities and efforts in Concentrating Solar Power/Solar Thermal Energy (CSP/STE) technologies by the European Research Centres. EU-SOLARIS will become the reference for CSP/STE and maintain Europe at the forefront of these technologies by providing the most complete, high quality scientific portfolio and facilitating the access of researchers to highly specialised facilities via a single access point. EU-SOLARIS will link scientific communities and industry and speed up the development of research and innovation due to a closer collaboration model, knowledge exchange management and a wider dissemination of results. It will increase the efficiency of the economic and human resources required to achieve excellence and provide efficient resources management to complement research and avoid redundancies. EU-SOLARIS was included in the ESFRI Roadmap 2010 and started operations in January 2023. As expressed in its statutes, these are the Mission, Vision and Objectives of EU-SOLARIS ERIC: Vision: To become the European reference research infrastructure in the technological development of CSP/STE and related applications. Mission: To offer the best conditions for the development of CSP/STE research activities for the scientific and industrial communities Strategic objectives are, i) To coordinate, as a unique infrastructure of distributed character the main existing R&D installations in Europe, providing the most complete and high quality scientific infrastructure portfolio at international level to the CSP/STE sector; ii) To establish a single entry point where highly specialised facilities, resources and research services are effectively and optimally offered to users demanding CSP/STE related services; iii) To reinforce the collaboration between the scientific institutions, academia and industry, also fostering collaborative research among main European research centres of the sector; iv) To identify new requirements for the improvement of the research facilities, and for the construction of new ones (when needed), also optimizing and promoting the specialization of existing ones avoiding unnecessary technological duplication and repetition; v) To identify and establish the best research and experimental practices, leading and coordinating the open dissemination of results and experimental data whenever possible, thus contributing to the reinforcement of the European leadership position at an international level; vi) To maintain Europe at the forefront and leadership of CSP/STE technologies development.
Total Investment 7 M€ Design 0,5 M€ Preparation 0,5 M€ Implementation 6 M€ Operation 0,08 M€/year Project Landmark 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2010
as landmark: 2021
Total investment
7 M€
Design Phase
0,5 M€
Preparation Phase
0,5 M€
Implementation Phase
6 M€
Operation start
0,08 M€/year
Disruptive research and breakthrough science and innovation through cutting-edge, interconnected and sustainable Research Infrastructures. The implementation of EU-SOLARIS activities will enhance the scientific outcome of its RIs. The implementation of the ERIC will generate new scientific services and RIs dealing with the synergies with other energy sources. Also, giving remote/virtual access to a wider range of tentative users will open the door to an increased scientific output from the entire set of RIS involved. A new Strategic Research Agenda will be developed, thus helping in focusing the coordinated efforts of the whole CST community. New guidelines for testing protocols will be developed, thus increasing the range and reliability of testing services. Strengthened scientific excellence and performance and efficiency of the European Research Area, increasing its attractiveness to researchers from all over the world. This ERIC will start its operations as a single entity, which for sure will strengthen its performance by joining efforts, avoiding duplications and identifying topics where to focus on in contrast with the ensemble of separate partners. EU-SOLARIS is envisaged to establish stable cooperation mechanisms with other relevant RIs working on CST around the world. Some identified centres are located in USA, China and Australia. Coordinated research infrastructure capacity among countries and regions, also by exploiting possibilities given by the smart specialisation processes. The ERIC team envisages a number of contacts with national and regional policymaking entities from both Member and also tentative candidate countries and regions. The opportunities of CST to be included in their S3 priorities will be jointly explored. Reinforced RI capacities enabling systemic changes needed for a truly transformative societal and economic recovery and a strengthened resilience of critical sectors, as outlined in the Recovery Plan Both climate change and European dependence on foreign sources of energy are among the toughest challenges our society has to face nowadays. R&D on renewable energy sources contributes to solve these issues. Improved European response, in cooperation with international players, to emerging socio-economic and related scientific and technological challenges at global a level. R&D on CST applications contributes to solve these issues. EU-SOLARIS will give the chance to all participants to contribute to addressing those challenges from a European wide-based perspective at first, but also from a global one thanks to the ERIC’s intention to also become the global leading RI on CST research.
The list of services (not exhaustive) related to CST equipment offered by the consortium can be found below: i) Solar Resource (DNI) and Meteorological Parameters Assessment; ii) Experimental Services on Absorbers and Receivers; iii) Services on Heat Transfer Fluids; iv) Services on Auxiliary Equipment; v) Services on Thermal Energy Storage (Storage media & hardware); vi) Services on Engines and Power Blocs; vii) Services on Calibration of Key Sensors & Measurements for CST applications; viii) Services on Solar Chemistry; ix) Services on Materials Testing and Qualification; x) Services Using Extreme Temperature Conditions in Solar Concentrators. A detailed list can be found at the EU-SOLARIS ERIC web site. As an example, this is what can be found there for a specific type of service: Services on Reflectors and Concentrators. i) Geometrical assessment of Solar Concentrators (Single Facets, Point and Line Focus Collectors); ii) Heliostat(s) Performance Qualification; iii) Optical and thermal characterization of solar concentrators; iv) Outdoor optical and thermal performance of PTC linear receivers. In addition, the consortium has long experience in granting access to their test facilities: solar furnaces, power towers and parabolic trough collector systems. This access can be carried out in physical mode or, in certain cases where the facility is adapted to, remotely. The option of virtual access has not been set up yet, though an e-infrastructure is under development on that purpose.
S S H D I G I T E N V H & F P S E
No formal cooperation has been established with any other RIs, so far.