The SolarPACES network, under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA), has presented this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to a duo: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Dr. Eduardo Zarza from the Spanish research centre CIEMAT.
SolarPACES thus acknowledges the leading role of Pitz-Paal and Zarza in research and management in concentrating solar technologies. The award is also a tribute to their outstanding commitment to a successful partnership between Germany and Spain. Particular mention should be made of the fruitful partnership between DLR and CIEMAT at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria, which is owned and operated by the CIEMAT research centre.
In their acceptance speech, they expressed their great pleasure at receiving the award and emphasized that they were also accepting it on behalf of their colleagues at DLR and CIEMAT. They have also shown great commitment to the development and promotion of concentrating solar technologies over decades.
SolarPACES Lifetime Achievement Award 2023 Robert Pitz-Paal and Eduardo Zarza
Robert Pitz-Paal: Committed promoter of Spanish-German cooperation in the field of CST technologies
Robert Pitz-Paal has been a driving force in Spanish-German cooperation for many years and has thus contributed significantly to European leadership in CST technologies.
Pitz-Pitz is Director of the DLR Institute for Solar Research and Programme Manager for the Solar and Wind Programme of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In parallel, he is a professor of solar technology at RWTH Aachen University, where he passes on knowledge and guidance to the next generation of solar energy enthusiasts. Pitz-Paal’s journey at DLR began in 1993, and he has since made numerous contributions to the advancement of solar energy technologies in research and management positions.
Eduardo Zarza Moya: Pioneer of Spanish-German cooperation in solar energy
Eduardo Zarza Moya has also dedicated his professional life to research and development for concentrating solar technologies. He has been the technical research and development coordinator since 2018 and head of the solar thermal research and development department at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) within the Spanish research centre CIEMAT since 2021.
After obtaining his doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Seville, he started his career as a solar researcher at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) of the Spanish research centre CIEMAT in 1985. His role at the PSA is outstanding with regard to the cooperation between Spain and Germany, the two countries on whose initiative the PSA was established in the 1980s. Under CIEMAT’s leadership, the PSA developed into the world’s largest research and development centre for concentrating solar thermal energy.
Zarza has worked tirelessly for many years to promote the PSA’s international cooperation with research and industry, especially between Spain and Germany.
SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems)
SolarPACES is an international network of researchers in concentrating solar power (CSP). This technology can provide solar energy around the clock because it converts sunlight into thermal energy, and the heat can be stored cheaply. The organization was founded in 1977 and is now increasingly involved in the development of concentrating solar thermal energy at very high temperatures to decarbonize industrial processes such as cement production or to use solar thermochemistry for the production of solar fuels.