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Women in CSP group attracts over 100 initial members, starts website

February 11, 2023

At the last SolarPaces Conference in Albuquerque, a group of women researchers in Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) formed a group aiming to attract and empower women at all levels to develop the skills and expertise the technology requires to foster new leaders in accelerating the world’s energy towards renewables. The group has created a SolarPACES-affiliated website: women.solarpaces.org

Only a week after the group was announced on LinkedIn, more than 100 members joined and supported the initiative. Women in the group are diverse, from more than 15 countries, working in various fields of study and at different career levels. The area of CSP is a game-changing renewable technology with many opportunities for talented researchers with a STEM background.

Already, many talented women contribute to original research advancing CSP

Previous news stories at SolarPACES included interviews with:

Rebecca Mitchell, NREL: Are there still careers in solar energy innovation?
Rebecca told me about the opportunity for new STEM talent in heliostat design for Tower CSP, an exciting new scientific field that involves robotics, AI, optics, physics, and math.

Maria Cerda, Fraunhofer:
 Fraunhofer-Chile finds PV-CSP combo has better LCOE than gas
Maria’s team covered their surprising findings that two solar energy technologies working together would power Chile at a lower LCOE than natural gas.

Isabel Reisch, DLR: is now a Ph.D. candidate in solar research at DLR – but even as an undergraduate, she was innovating solutions using her STEM talents, like this preheat algorithm for the solar receiver in solar Tower plants:

BA student devises algorithm to optimize Tower CSP preheating strategy

Wei Wu, DLR: HelioHeat Commercializes the DLR 1000°C Solar Receiver CentRec®
Wei formed the spin-off HelioHeat from her solar receiver research at DLR (HelioGen later bought HelioHeat). Now Wei has created a new startup, Heatrix, also aiming to decarbonize industrial processes based on her research with high-temperature solar heat.

Elena Cuadros, World Bank:
MENA Region Industries Could Heat for Less with Solar
Elena’s data-based research into CSP cost parity with various MENA region costs for fossil fuels has a broader impact due to her World Bank affiliation.

Cathy Frantz, DLR: “Star” Receiver Could Cut Tower CSP Cost 11%
Cathy brought her engineering talent to designing an innovative new design for the solar receiver for Tower CSP that can max out heat absorption.

Klarissa Niedermeier, KIT Liquid Metal Laboratory: First-of-its-Kind Experiment with Liquid Metals in Thermocline Energy Storage at Karlsruhe
Klarissa’s research is at the cutting edge of CSP as super-high temperatures are needed to decarbonize industries like cement, steel and to make solar aviation fuels, and liquid metals can reach over 1000°C.

Alicia Bayon, CSIRO: Researchers Reduce Intermittency in Solar Thermochemical Hydrogen Production
Alicia has worked on many aspects of solar thermochemistry for hydrogen production. In the research I interviewed her about, she had tried out a way to ensure the necessary seasonal continuity in this solar-driven process – of using ceria not just as the redox reactant, but as long duration thermal energy storage,

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