Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Energy and fuels

Publication Details

International Conference on Sustainable Energy & Environmental Protection, SEEP2015, 11-14 August 2015, Paisley,UK


This paper aims to explore different solar technologies and its suitability for hybridization with biomass for combined heat and power (CHP) generation in Europe. Although hybrid solar-biomass research and demonstration is in its infancy, it has the potential to provide dispatchable renewable energy at a significant scale over many areas in Europe. Therefore, this review examines the technical and economic reported performances on hybrid systems in order to assess the technical and economic viabilities of newly-emerging projects. Three different combinations of solar and biomass technologies are discussed in this paper: solar tower (ST) - biomass, parabolic trough (PT) - biomass and linear Fresnel (LF) - biomass systems. Using findings from literature, case studies and industry sources, this review compares each of these systems with respect to their technical and economical parameters.

The paper shows that, of the three concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies, ST provides the best overall efficiencies for both heat and power generation. However, complex installation requirements and high capital cost may explain poor uptake of this technology. Of the three systems, LF suffers from relatively high optical and thermal losses and also to greater cosine effect losses; which may explain why this technology is also poorly deployed. Only one solar-biomass hybrid power plant is currently operating in Spain; this uses PT technology due to its comparatively easy installation process compared to ST and relatively higher heat and optical gain than LF.