“More of the same won´t do – how large scale solar thermal plants could see breakthrough

Savosolar produces collectors and builds MW turn-key solar thermal systems. We provide clean energy for district heating, process heat or solar cooling. These segments have potential for growth. They also hold challenges. Missing bravery to invest in utility scale solar thermal outside Denmark is top of the list.

So far, both ways to kick-off decarbonization failed: top-down with legislation from governments, and bottom-up with grassroot citizen engagement. True, both are happening to some extent. But despite substantial incentives and heroic village people building district heating networks only very few MW solar heating plants get build.

New social movements like FridaysForFuture (https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/) and ExtinctionRebellion (https://rebellion.earth/) set a new agenda, though, add pressure to get things moving. Direct support of such groups would harm their pristine street credibility and moral imperative. But with ever more people taking to the streets regularly and demanding declaration of climate emergency progressive firms should – in parallel – increase efforts in lobbying politicians for price on carbon, ban on fossil fuels, etc.

Our narrative to mayors and investors is constructive. We state that with track-record of successful applications we now offer cost efficient, standardized MW solar thermal heating plants to be easily applied in retro-fit fashion. Obviously, a declaration of climate emergency will allow to substantially speed up planning and permit stages, allocation of land from e.g. farmers. We need to reduce meat and dairy production, anyway. Thus, land gets freed up for swapping meat to heat.

Any renovated or new build heating or cooling plant has to be carbon-free. We got the technology, the money, the best reasons possible, and we have got the land. Plus, we get massive support from the public to take unconventional measures since more of the same won´t do.

The missing link is bravery amongst mayors, leadership. Let´s push for that. Time for ever more pilots and surveys is over. Let´s get over it, gear up. Support and praise the front runners rolling out a series of cost-efficient standardized solar thermal MW plants. We need thousands of those in every country to keep our cool. “

By Torsten Lütten