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Near-to-market solutions for reducing the water consumption of CSP Plants

Projects shall demonstrate cost-effective technical solutions which significantly reduce or replace the water consumption of CSP plants. The demonstration shall take place in a region with very good solar resource values (Direct Normal Irradiation > 2000 kWh/m2 year).

Since the availability of water resources particularly in arid areas is linked to broader socioeconomic and livelihood issues and therefore of particular relevance to local communities, multidisciplinary research designs that integrate contributions also from the social sciences and humanities are encouraged. Engaging and involving local communities, and further investigating the roots of social acceptance or any resistance to CSP plants, so as to develop mitigating strategies or alternative solutions, should likewise be part of the project.

TRL 7 shall be achieved at the end of project activities (please see part G of the General Annexes).

Opening the project's test sites, pilot and demonstration facilities, or research infrastructures for practice oriented education, training or knowledge exchange is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 10 to 12 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts

In spite of the improvements in recent years, water and cost-competitiveness remain a crucial barriers to the deployment of CSP plants especially in arid areas. The challenge is to drastically reduce water consumption as well as costs thereby contributing to achieving the SET-Plan targets for CSP[[The Steering Group of the SET-Plan has agreed on the following two targets for CSP: (i) 40% cost reduction by 2020 (from 2013) translating into a supply price < 10 c€/kWh for a radiation of 2050 kWh/m2/year (average in Southern Europe); and (ii) new cycles (including supercritical ones) with a first demonstrator by 2020.]].

The action will result in significant exploitation prospects for the European technology in the field of CSP deployment, bringing cost effective solutions that improve the environmental profile.