The SolarPACES Executive Committee, in a meeting held on Sunday, 18 October, 2015, in Cape Town, South Africa, re-elected Dr. Manuel J. Blanco as its Chairperson. This is the second time Dr. Blanco is re-elected Chair of the Executive Committee of SolarPACES, the Implementing Agreement of the International Energy Agency for Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems. He was elected for the first time for this positon in September, 2011 at a SolarPACES Executive Committee meeting held in Granada, Spain.
Dr. Blanco is European Research Area Chair in Solar Thermal Technologies for the Eastern Mediterranean at The Cyprus Institute, Universidad de Sevilla, and former Science Leader of the Solar Energy Systems Research Group of CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) and Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI), an 8-year 87-million dollars multi-institution research program aimed to increase the cost competitiveness of concentrating solar thermal technologies and enhance the international positioning of Australia in these technologies.
He is also the Coordinator of EU-SOLARIS, a six million Euros European FP7 project whose goal is to carry out all the preparatory activities needed to create an international organization to manage, as a Distributed Large European Research Infrastructure, the Concentrating Solar Thermal research infrastructures of eleven European and Mediterranean research centres.
He has been Former Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Department of the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER); Chair and Full Professor of the Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Brownsville; and Director of the Plataforma Solar de Almería of CIEMAT the largest European solar research infrastructure.
The Executive Committee(ExCo) is responsible for control and supervision of the SolarPACES Program as a whole. Individual members of the Executive Committee represent their national Contracting Party.
The SolarPACES Secretariat (ExSec) is responsible for communications between the members of the ExCo and Operating Agents, and relations between the SolarPACES Program and the IEA, governments, international bodies and relevant media.
Operating Agents (OA) or Task Representatives (TR) are the central coordinators of the research for each of the Solar Research Tasks.