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Middle East and North Africa Concentrating Solar Power
Knowledge and Innovation Program

Bringing Concentrating Solar Heat to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

17th December 2018

Small and Medium-sized enterprises make up 80 to 90 percent of companies across the MENA region. However, most Concentrating Solar Heat (CSH) companies provide custom-made systems for large factories that consume huge amounts of thermal energy. CSH start-up Solatom has decided to take the path less travelled, bringing CSH to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Hear from Miguel Frasquet, CEO of Solatom, about how he is tackling this promising yet challenging market

Click hear to listen to audio: 


At first sight, SMEs don’t seem like great clients for a CSH start-up as they consume less heat than large companies and are extremely fragmented. To make matters more difficult, decision makers tend to keep a low profile, making them elusive.

On the flipside, SMEs make up the largest share of the market. In Spain, where Solatom is based, 99% of potential CSH users are SMEs. They also pay much more for their heat than larger companies.

Solatom’s approach to making Concentrated Solar Heat affordable to SMEs includes:

  • Identifying companies through an algorithm that finds companies that are likely to obtain a payback between 3 and 7 years from CSH
  • Creating a mobile application that enables SMEs to carry out their own pre-feasibility studies
  • Standardized, factory-made CSH systems, including both the solar field and power block
  • Pre-assembled, easy to install modules which have no foundations and are self-calibrating. Installing one hundred modules should take the same time it takes to install one module.

Solatom’s work in Spain has been made possible thanks to the availability of critical data on enterprise location, gas distribution networks, and energy prices. Perhaps their innovative approach could serve as inspiration to start-ups in the MENA region.


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