The SDHp2m project carried our a short interview with Moritz Schubert, R&D and project development at S.O.L.I.D.
Dear Mr. Schubert thank you very much for taking the time to guide us briefly through the concept: Big Solar. Could you explain us in one sentence what Big Solar is?
Big Solar means that large solar thermal plants and water storages buffer solar heat for use in winter in district heating grids of cities.
Normally, when speaking about Big Solar we think about heating, but is cooling possible as well?
In general, there is a good match between cooling demand and solar irradiation. Solar cooling doesn’t need a seasonal storage, but there can be a big solar cooling plant!
Big Solar is an important part of the energy horizon of the city of Graz. Why is this?
Graz has a big district heating system for heating a good share of the city’s buildings and is currently reliant on imported fossil fuels. The aim of both the City politics and the district heating companies is to have more local and sustainable heat in the City. Several measures are implemented for reaching this aim, and one important part is Big Solar. Other renewable resources like wind, geothermal and also biomass are quite limited or will be needed for other purposes in the longer perspective.
Are there plans to implement Big Solar in other European Cities? How does the future look like for Big Solar?
Yes, there is quite some interest in other European Cities.
Are there specific conditions a city needs to have in order to develop Big Solar?
A district heating grid with more than 20 GWh/a of heat demand is important in order to benefit from economies of scale.
Thank you very much Mr. Schubert for this detailed explanation. On behalf of Euroheat & Power we wish you all the best for the development of this technology.