Thursday, 18 September 2014 09:17

Overview of the IEA Solar Roadmaps 2014 for PV and Solar Thermal Electricity (STE)

DDDDDDDDDDDDD Written by  Dr. Manuel J. Blanco, Chairman SolarPACES Executive Committee

The first day of the SolarPACES Conference, Tuesday, September 16, Cedric Philibert, on behalf of the International Energy Agency (IEA), provided in a conference plenary an overview of the IEA Solar Roadmaps 2014 for PV and Solar Thermal Electricity (STE). This overview was delivered at the SolarPACES Conference in advance to the formal dissemination of the roadmaps that the IEA will carry out by webinar shortly.

Among the key findings of the IEA roadmap for STE technologies, the following ones are particularly relevant:

  • “From a system perspective, STE offers significant advantages over PC, mostly because of its built-in thermal storage capabilities. […] Both technologies, while being competitors on some projects, are ultimately complementary.”
  • “Deployment [of STE technologies] would increase rapidly after 2020 when STE becomes competitive for peak and mid-merit power in a carbon-constrained world, ranging from 30 GW to 40 GW of new-built plants per year after 2030.”
  • “Market structures and regulatory frameworks that fail to provide robust long-term price signals beyond few months or years are thus unlikely to attract sufficient investment to achieve this roadmap’s vision in particular and timely decarbonisation of the global energy system in general.”

The key actions proposed in the roadmap for the next five years are essential to ensure that STE technologies fulfil their promise of delivering clean, affordable energy to millions of people around the world. These actions are:


  • “Set long-term targets, supported by predictable mechanisms to drive investments.
  • “Address non-economic barriers and develop streamlined procedures for permitting.”
  • “Remunerate STE according to its value, which depends on time of delivery.”
  • “Implement support schemes with fair remuneration to investors but predictable decrease over time of the level of support.”
  • “Design and implement investment markets for new-built CSP plant and other renewable energy plants, and markets for ancillary services.”
  • “Avoid retroactive legislative changes.”


Clearly, they draw on the lessons learned within the last years regarding the efforts of different countries to create the appropriate environment for the development of STE technologies.