The Italian thermodynamic solar industry, strengthened by the innovative technologies developed thanks to ENEA know-how, is preparing to launch itself on the foreign markets and to participate in large international projects.
At the beginning of March, the Ministry for Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency and Confindustria organised a trade mission to Saudi Arabia to explore the opportunities offered by the market to Italian companies. The Saudi government body K.A. CARE, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, has a project of about 25,000 MW for the CSP in the pipeline, to be constructed within 20 years, with an investment of over 100 billion dollars. If Italian companies were to succeed in obtaining even a small proportion of these investments, the impact on the Italian economy and the industry of the sector would be significant.
To compete in these large international projects, Italian companies must take advantage of "references", i.e. thermodynamic solar systems already operating in Italy, to demonstrate the validity of the work. But, in Italy, this type of system is faced with various obstacles, both of a bureaucratic nature and as regards local acceptance.
“The thermodynamic solar sector in Italy demonstrates excellence in research led by ENEA, has a complete industrial production chain spread over the country, and technology capable of producing electricity, heating and cooling with possibilities for storage and distribution according to the needs of the grid", commented Gianluigi Angelantoni, Chairman of ANEST, the Italian National Association of Thermodynamic Solar Energy.
"To be able to exploit our skills and potential - Angelantoni added - the sector only needs the innumerable steps of the national bureaucratic procedures to be urgently removed and, at the same time, better conditions for local acceptance of plants to be created, overcoming often purely ideological stances, not based on factual data”.
These problems will be the subject of a dedicated Conference supported by ANEST, in collaboration with ESTELA, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association, which will be held at the Milan Exhibition & Conference Centre on 7 May on the occasion of the SOLAREXPO-THE INNOVATION CLOUD 2014.
“The European industry has a lot of opportunities in the solar thermal sector - states Luis Crespo, President of ESTELA - I think that Italy, just llike Spain that has already built more than 50 plants with an installed capacity of more than 2.3 GW, can have an important role to play both on national and international CSP markets. On May 7th, during the SOLAREXPO-THE INNOVATION CLOUD, we will have the opportunity to present the essential assets of this technology aiming at persuading policy makers in Southern Europe and in the ‘sun-belt’ area of the undisputable benefits of this technology”.
“Through two testimonials of its prestige, namely the participation of the ESTELA and of K.A. CARE, the event supported by ANEST will analyse the international thermodynamic solar scene”, explained Luca Zingale, scientific director of SOLAREXPO-THE INNOVATION CLOUD. "In the first part of the conference - said Zingale - there will be debates between entrepreneurs and managers from the Italian and international thermodynamic solar industry. Then the conditions for the development of this technology at the national level will be analysed, especially with regard to favouring the industry's access to foreign markets. This will be followed by a round-table discussion between industry, citizens and the media to try to debunk the myths and clichés which are too often associated with this technology".
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