Eurosun 2008: Decision for Solar Thermal

Eurosun conference in Lisbon 2008 Eurosun 2008 took place in Lisbon from 7th to 10th of October. Photo: Joachim Berner

It was a decision for solar thermal and against other renewable energies – and it was a good decision. The European section of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) had decided to leave out the other renewable energies from its conference Eurosun 2008, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal from 7th to 10th of October 2008. With its broad mix the biannual event had lost importance in the more and more specialized renewable technology sectors, to the PV Conference EU PVSEC in Valencia with more than 4,000 delegates just a few weeks earlier, for example.

It was a good decision because the solar thermal sector needs a scientific conference of its own; Eurosun 2008 as the 1st International Conference on Solar Heating, Cooling and Building was a great success. With nearly 500 participants it got a great response from the scientific solar thermal community from all over the world. Not only European projects were presented but also contributions from Australia, Brazil, China and Russia, among others, made the Eurosun 2008 a truly international event. Participants from 52 countries found their way to Lisbon Congress Center. Together with the Portuguese solar energy organisation SPES and the Solar Heating & Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency, ISES organised a manifold scientific programme. It was so varied that one would have wished a more strict selection of the papers and a more transparent arrangement of the conference topics. What's the sense of a paper presentation about a PV Tracking System in the Solar Collector Technology section? Some of the contributions on photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) devices were put into the Sustainable Energy Generation section, others into the Sustainable Solar Buildings section. Nevertheless, there was an inspiring and motivating atmosphere in Lisbon. It is an atmosphere that solar thermal technology needs to meet its goal ”of a larger solar energy footprint“, as Eurosun chairman Manuel Collares Pereira called it. Pereia is founder and R & D Director of the Portuguese collector manufacturer Ao Sol as well as professor at the Technical University of Lisbon.

In this sense the Eurosun 2008 as a scientific conference should be a good supplement to the also biannual solar thermal industry conference Estec 2009 which takes place in May next year in Munich, Germany. After the success in Lisbon ISES wants to stick to its decision and keep the Eurosun as a solar thermal technology event.

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This text was written by Joachim Berner, a German journalist and solar thermal expert.


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