Driving solar's potential with sCO2

Driving solar's potential with sCO₂

The EU is targeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This objective is at the heart of the European Green Deal and the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. The European Commission (EC) Joint Research Center proposes that, with increased component efficiency and cost reduction, CSP could produce 11% of EU electricity by 2050. Viewing it as a dispatchable resource, the EC Energy Strategy sees increasing market potential for CSP if coupled with lower-cost power-conversion units that offer higher flexibility and performance.

Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) has been studied worldwide for several years as enabling technology to promote widespread adoption of CSP, and sCO2 has recently been attracting increasing industrial interest around the world.

Now, the H2020-funded “SOLARSCO2OL” project is focused on developing innovative, economically viable, and easily replicable sCO2 power block technology to increase the flexibility of CSP plants—reducing their levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) to under 10 c€/kWh in Europe, and promoting a power plant cycle layout that requires no water.

It's an important project for the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, but also for clean power generation overall—as what's accomplished here will enable greater solar viability and flexibility all around the world.


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Driving solar's potential with sCO2: EU Horizon