Solar Energy

The objective of the Solar Energy partnership is to join resources and expertise among the participating regions and Member States to create new business opportunities and increased growth for the sector of Solar Energy (PV and CSP).

Solar Energy

The Solar Energy Partnership was created in May 2017 as a way to support solar electricity generation and distribution in Europe and maintain the European concentrated solar power industry leadership worldwide.

The Solar S3 partnership offers interactive and participatory arenas for interregional cooperation along regions and MS who selected Solar energy as a priority in their S3 strategy. ​​​​​​The focus is also aligned with the ERDF Thematic objective 4, Low carbon economy, in particular with "Generation a distribution of Renewable sources".

​Among the different interesting thematic areas in solar energy, Concentrated Solar power (CSP) has been identified by different regions as one of the key technology. This is undoubtedly linked to the position of European CSP Industry as the worldwide leader along the full CSP value chain.

The main objectives of this partnership are:
  1. To maintain the global leadership of the European industry in Concentrating Solar Power/Solar Thermal Electricity (CSP/STE)
  2. S3 in CSP must be focused on regional development, maintaining the competitiveness of the full value chain of the CSP European industry and strengthening its technological development (TO1, TO4)
  3. The EU's Solar Industry must maintain its export opportunities in low-carbon technologies by strengthening partnerships among national governments, industry and research actors (TO4)
  4. S3 in solar (which aligns with the SET Plan) must focus on achieving significant cost reductions of existing technologies (in the short term), and to work towards the development of next generation technologies (in the longer term) (TO1).

Thematic working areas

The partners have jointly identified four main areas of work:
  1. the construction in Extremadura of a solar large-scale sustainable energy technology First of a Kind (FOAK) Power plant: Concentrated Solar power (CSP) Plant, hybridised with Photovoltaic (PV), including storage to provide fully dispatchable power and to allow for more flexible generation.
  2. the deployment of a research facility for solar technologies
  3. the analysis of the Cooperation mechanisms of the 2009/28/EC Renewable energy Directive, for the promotion of renewable electricity exports from Southern to Central and Northern European countries
  4. the implementation of medium temperature solar energy in the agro industry.

To date, much of the partnership's activity has focused on the development of the solar FOAK project in Extremadura. The project has already completed the first phase of preparing the plant's value proposition; mapping potential stakeholder interest; preparing a preliminary business plan of the project; and consulting development options with industry players, financing institutions and off-taker countries. The next steps require identifying the necessary enabling conditions and launching the implementation phase.

List of regions involved

Contact details of the leading regions

Contact details of DG REGIO

Related documents

Monitoring reports containing a management report and a progress report prepared by the lead regions are available here:
Monitoring report Solar July-December 2020
(281 KB - PDF)
Monitoring report Solar January-June 2020
(292 KB - PDF)

Other relevant documents:
Promoting solar electricity exports from Southern to Central and Northern European countries. Extremadura case study
(3.8 MB - PDF)

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