EnerMENA - Towards Sustainable Implementation of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Technologies in the MENA Region

From energypedia


The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region has a huge potential for the implementation of solar technology due to its excellent solar resource conditions. The enerMENA project takes essential steps to prepare the ground towards a sustainable realization of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) power plants in the MENA region.[1]

Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the project was initiated and is executed by the Institute of Solar Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), a pioneer in the field of CSP technology in cooperation with several partners in the EU-MENA region.

The aim of enerMENA is to provide knowledge and practical experience to CSP specialists and stakeholders in the MENA region. By this it contributes both to the optimization of the construction and the operation of solar thermal power plants.

Furthermore, the enerMENA project engages its partners in desert specific R&D activities to develop efficiency improvement measures. it offers also professional training courses for different target groups. With its professional training program, enerMENA addresses engineers and technicians working on site as well as researchers, project developers and University professors and students in the partner countries.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) works jointly with over 45 partners from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan to realize the objectives of the enerMENA project. Among partners are engineers, skilled workers, and decision makers at energy centers, national energy agencies, universities, engineering companies and related ministries.

A network of CSP professionals and specialists is being established and supported in the framework of the project to coordinate future activities.

The enerMENA project consists of three modules[1]:

EnerMENA Project Modules

With its broad offer of training courses, technical support and R&D projects, the enerMENA project strengthens the EU-MENA partnership in the field of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and brings all stakeholders into an advanced stage of cooperation.

enerMENA Training and Teaching Materials

1) enerMENA CSP Teaching Materials

The “enerMENA CSP Teaching Materials” are intended to be integrated in universities’ curricula to cobver and strengthen the CSP content at these universities. They were prepared in the course of the enerMENA project in cooperation between the DLR and outstanding experts from academic institutions in Germany and the MENA countries. The teaching materials cover a wide spectrum of topics from site assessment and socio-economic considerations to optics and thermodynamics and thermo fluids, each of them related directly to CSP technologies, and comprise theoretical and scientific topics as well as practical exercises. These materials could be implemented in renewable energies Masters and Bachelor programs with focus on CSP.

Scope of the enerMENA CSP Teaching Materials

2) enerMENA Project Planning and Development Training Materials

Project planning materials describing the typical structure and development process of CSP projects in the MENA region were prepared in the framework of enerMENA project. These materials summarize the different phases of the project development process and explain the required expertise. Special attention is paid to the local share in several MENA countries today and the necessities to increase the local share in the future.

The yield analysis of CSP plants is an important task in the project development process since it influences the expectation of the economic viability of a project significantly. Today, every project developer, EPC contractor or consultant predicts the plant performance with its own models and programs. Only a few appropriate software tools are freely available. Within enerMENA, the basic requirements and modeling approaches for the performance prediction of a parabolic trough solar thermal power plant are documented and part of the training materials.

3) enerMENA Technical Course Materials

Training materials for engineers and technicians have been prepared by DLR specialists. The materials comprise theoretical and practical exercises about solar tower, parabolic trough, Fresnel technology, dish/Sterling systems, meteorological measurements, solar resource-assessment, optical efficiency of solar concentrating systems, optimization, deflectometry, photogrammetry, thermal performance measurements, project planning and yield analysis with the yield analysis software ‘greenius'.

4) enerMENA e-Learning Materials

Moreover, in order to reach more audiences with technical background, professional video tutorials were prepared in the framework of enerMENA as e-Learning media that will be used for faster dissemination of knowledge and for remote training courses. The video tutorials are based on the enerMENA technical course materials.

enerMENA Capacity Building Program

1) eM-CB: Training for Field Engineers and Technicians

The eM-CB contains specialized training courses for field engineers and technicians with the main objective of performing technical optimization of the existing and planned power plants as well as for the organization of further training courses for technical staffs in their countries (multiplicator).

Three courses were organized in this framework: eM-CB01 at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria (Spain) in November 2010, eM-CB02 at the Technopole Tunisie in Tunisia in November 2011 and eM-CB03 at Kuraymat CSP Power Plant in Egypt in October 2012. The courses included lectures and exercises and covered mainly optical and thermal performance of a CSP power plant.

2) eM-Project: Training for Project Planners and Managers

This course targets project planners and managers in the MENA region to train them on professional project planning and yield analysis of solar thermal power plants. These courses are organized together with partners from industry to ensure their suitability and cover typical structure and development processes, project planning tools and the assessment of the economic viability of a CSP project. The eM-Project-01 Course is planned in from August 19th to 22nd 2013 in Amman, Jordan in cooperation with the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE).

3) eM-Expert: Training for Professionals and Decision Makers

The main objective of the enerMENA expert training courses is to disseminate the CSP expert knowledge among independent power producers and state engineers and scientists. Giving an introduction to CSP technologies, optimization of CSP plants, solar resource assessment and CSP project planning; the courses aim at giving a basic understanding to the decision makers in order to create a favorable and open ambience. The eM-.Expert-03 is planned from September 1st to 5th 2013 in Amman in cooperation with the Arab Union of Electricity (AUE).

4) eM-University: Implementation Workshops of the “enerMENA CSP Teaching Materials”

This category of enerMENA Capacity Building Program aims at the implementation of the CSP teaching materials at universities in the partner countries.

The eM-University implementation workshops are organized normally on national level in cooperation with a national key institution. University professors and tutors, who are willing to implement these teaching materials in their teaching plans, are invited to such workshop to be trained by the enerMENA team to start the implementation process. The teaching materials are provided as presentation and script. The eM-University-03 is planned from November 17th to 19th 2013 in Tunis in cooperation with Desertec University Network (DUN) and École nationale d'ingénieurs de Tunis (ENIT).

5) eM-Internship: University Students Internship

The enerMENA internship program was launched in 2012 for the first time to meet the high demand from several MENA universities for internship places for their students and young scientists at the DLR. In this internship 15 students and young scientist from partner MENA universities are invited to join an intensive internship program for a period of two weeks at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA), Spain to be introduced to CSP technologies and their applications. This program shall contribute to strengthen the local know how and availability of working force in the MENA countries. Moreover, these students will have the opportunity thereby to focus their study and research on the CSP field.

6) eM-eLearning: Video Tutorials Training

This course is based on the enerMENA e-Learning Materials (Video Tutorials) to further support the efficient know-how transfer into the partner countries. The user of these video tutorials can study the online video tutorials in his/her normal environment for a specific period and thereafter visit an optional finalization seminar at the DLR and get accredited. The tutorials give an almost entire insight to all facets of CSP technologies und can be viewed through online streaming. The eM-eLearning-01 is planned to take place in 2014.

Further Information


  1. 1.0 1.1 DLR - Institut für Solarforschung: http://www.dlr.de/sf/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-7235/fckLR