On the 27th and 28th of May 2020, the H2020 project ASTEP ‘Application of Solar Thermal Energy to Processes’ held its kick-off meeting via teleconference. This new EU-funded Research and Innovation Action is coordinated by Prof. Antonio Rovira, representing the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED) of Madrid in Spain.
The kick-off meeting was the opportunity to introduce the 16 project partners involved from 9 different EU countries and to confirm their operational capacities, knowledge, and experience, to ensure efficient exploitation of project results and plan the way ahead with regards to the project implementation. The Work Package leaders presented the activities planned for each section of work as well as the deliverables and reports to be prepared within the project timeframe.
The project’s main objective is to successfully demonstrate the viability of applying solar thermal energy to partially cover the heating and cooling demands for industrial processes up to 400 ºC (steel production and milk pasteurization) in two different industrial pilot sites, located in different European climate regions (Iasi in Romania and Corinth in Greece) and to further develop the implementation of solar thermal energy in other relevant industrial processes.
The project will last four years and will conclude in April 2024.
The successful completion of ASTEP will allow providing guidelines for planning, installation, and operation of thermal solar systems in industrial companies, quantifying the performance of the innovative technology implemented, considering technical and economic parameters.
The expected impacts of the project were also highlighted:
- Increased decarbonisation of the industrial sector.
- Reduced dependency on fossil fuels.
- Reduction of emissions of air pollutants.