Dear authors and readers of the JSEE,

As Editor of the ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering and Wind Energy, this is again my great pleasure to introduce and promote this special edition on Solar Thermal Electricity. Development of renewable energies should be at the core of our concerns for the future and the Solar Thermal Electricity technology has a major role to play in this.

Over the past few years, the interest for STE has spread among the international community. At present, this is clearly concretized with the construction of several plants at a world level. Support programs are growing, contracts are being signed. This foresees a strong development of this technology in the next years but to promote innovations in the field, we must not lose sight of the fact that R&D should be reinforced. The publication of such a special issue comes then in a timely moment to emphasize the importance of R&D in STE.

Most of the scientific papers selected for this special issue have been presented at the 2010 and 2011 SolarPACES Conferences (SolarPACES is an IEA Annex). This conference is one of the only one to be devoted to Concentrated Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems. It has earned through the years an excellent reputation for being a high-quality forum where the R&D sector as well as the financial, political, and industrial sector can meet and exchange over the last trends in CSP. The number of participants keeps increasing over the years, which is a good illustration of the growing interest in concentrated solar technologies and STE.

This special issue displays 18 papers (from SolarPACES and others), highlighting scientific and technological innovations in a variety of subjects common in STE R&D:

The scientific and technological progress presented through these papers is the perfect illustration that the future of the Solar Thermal Energy sector is promising with the research community having a particular role but this cannot be done without communicating on the R&D results. I therefore encourage you all to carry on your efforts in the field and submit your research work to the JSEE.

To conclude, I would like to thank the authors for their excellent papers and also the reviewers that have worked voluntarily to complete on time the review process for this issue. Associate Editors are sincerely thanked for their efforts as well as the JSEE Editorial Board and ASME staff who have been of great help in the publication of this issue.