Worldwide 66% of heat is generated by fossil fuels and 45% of it is used in Industry as Process Heat. At a regional level, the share of Process Heat in the total final energy consumption stands for values around 30% in Asia and Latin America, around 20% in Non-OECD Europe, Eurasia and Australia or around 15% in OECD Europe, Africa and OECD Americas. Despite process heat is recognized as the application with highest potential among solar heating and cooling applications, Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) still presents a modest share of about 88 MWth installed capacity (0.3% of total installed solar thermal capacity).

Current heat production costs range shows that Renewable Energy (RE) driven process heat is already economically competitive when biomass or geothermal resources are considered. Solar thermal is currently close to competitiveness only in low temperature applications.

Nevertheless, Solar Thermal potential is mainly identified for new industrial capacity in the chemical and petrochemical, food and tobacco sectors outside Americas and Europe: Pacific, China, India and Africa.

Acknowledging both the potential contribution of Solar Thermal technologies towards the development of sustainable industrial production and the need of a coordinated effort tackling the technological challenges still faced by these technologies when applied in industry, INSHIP aims at the definition of a European Common Research and Innovation Agenda (ECRIA) engaging major European research institutes, with relevant and recognized activities on SHIP into an integrated structure.

Contributing to the technological development capacity and to the scientific performance and attractiveness of the European Research, while supporting the implementation of the SET-Plan in close collaboration with the industrial sector goals, the integrated approach pursued in INSHIP aims at the successful achievement of the objectives summarized in the following table together with their expected impacts and the beneficiaries:

Project objective Expected impact Beneficiaries
Definition and implementation of an European stable framework for international collaboration on SHIP technologies More efficient use of available resources and the possibility to undertake projects requiring a large consortium
  • European Commission
  • R+D community
  • Industrial sector
  • Project developers
Harmonization of national and European Programs related to this sector More efficient use of available resources and a better coordination between national and European programmes to use synergies among research developers
  • National Governments
  • European Commission
  • R+D community
  • Project developers
Create and keep updated a European strategic R+D programme for SHIP technologies List of priority R+D topics to guide the National and European Programmes, thus enhancing the preparation of Calls and avoiding dispersion of efforts
  • European Commission
  • R+D community
  • National Governments decision makers
Adapt the European research infrastructures to the needs of the industrial sector Provide the industrial sector with the R+D infrastructure required to accomplish the expected “learning curve” and achieve a significant cost reduction
  • Industrial sector
  • R+D community
  • Project developers
  • The public at large
To create a formal European network of SHIP R&D facilities Optimization of Research Infrastructures capacity at European scale
  • Industrial sector
  • R+D community
  • European Commission
Exchange of researchers and definition of common practices for the access and use of the R+D facilities Standardized procedures and rules for access to R+D infrastructures. Definition and implementation of standard testing procedures
  • Industrial sector
  • R+D community
  • Project developers
Plan for the use and dissemination of the Foreground and exploitation of research results More efficient commercial exploitation of IPR via a better relationship with the industry
  • Industrial sector
  • R+D community
  • Project developers
Develop and validate suitable integration schemes for CSP technologies in low temperature SHIP (80-150°C) A better integrability of CSP into existing energy-intensive industrial processes
  • Industrial sector
  • Project developers
Feasibility assessment of solar chemical reactor technologies for several high-temperature processes Open for solar integration a new range of very high temperature industrial processes (in the range of 1000°C)
  • Industrial sector
  • R+D community
  • Project developers
Development of 100%-renewable production concepts after optimized hybrid energy supply systems More reliable systems, able to compete with fossil energy sources in the market
  • Industrial sector
  • R+D community
  • Project developers
Development of monitoring and evaluation procedures for commercial solar fields with line-focus concentrators Reduced O&M costs for commercial plants, and higher durability of components due to early detection of failures
  • R+D community
  • Industrial sector
  • Project developers

Considering the interrelated technological aspects of both SHIP and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) is the basic starting point of INSHIP project, namely through its Joint Programme on Concentrated Solar Power (EERA JP-CSP), launched in 2008 and a formally approved in April 2011. The research institutions participating in INSHIP are either partners of EERA or, alternatively, have expressed their commitment to formally joint EERA in the near future. Also, almost all partners of EERA JP-CSP are participating in INSHIP.

The project consortium is composed of 28 partners (see section ‘Partners’) and led by the Fraunhofer-Institute of Solar Energy for a 4-year term starting on 1 January, 2017.