Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Market could reach 24 GW by 2020
26 October 2009
According to a new market report by CSP Today and Altran, CSP growth in the next ten years will be concentrated in two key markets: Spain and USA. The USA is currently the largest market as measured by installed capacity with 63%. However, most new projects under construction (88%) are located in Spain, which highlights the effectiveness of feed-in-tariffs in encouraging the adoption of CSP.
London, UK October, 21 2009 - Worldwide there are currently 679 MW of installed CSP capacity and more than 2000 MW under construction. The new Global Concentrated Solar Power Industry Report reveals that in terms of installed capacity the USA is the largest market holding a 63% market share, followed by Spain with 32% of operating capacity. According to this recent report these two markets will continue to be crucial for the development of the industry into the next decade, with Spain accounting for the largest share of projects under construction with almost 89%. Further growth is expected across markets in the Middle East and North Africa such as Israel, the UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt.
Although a thriving industry, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is still dependant on government support for growth given the fact that it is up to four times more expensive than energy produced by fossil fuels. The solar field represents the largest share of the cost of any CSP plant. Depending on the technology solar field costs could vary from around 43% for Tower and Fresnel technology, to almost 60% for Parabolic Trough and Dish Stirling, according to a new report by CSP Today and Altran. The report concludes that the most significant cost reductions are likely to come about by innovations in solar field design, which could bring down the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) by 15% to 28% depending on the technology.
According to research by CSP Today and Altran the CSP market will continue to be dominated by Parabolic Trough technology, which accounts for 88% of operating plants and 97.5% of projects under construction. The findings show the preference for Parabolic Trough is due to the fact that it is the only technology proven to perform after 20 years on the ground, as testified by the SEGS Parabolic Troughs which are still operating since their installation in the 1980s. Despite the dominance of Parabolic Trough, the report reveals Tower technology is making headway into the CSP market with 5% of operating capacity. For many, Tower represents the next step in CSP technology and many of its proposed variants could bring about significant increases in efficiency and annual electricity yield. However, a lack of practical experience with utility scale projects seems to be holding this technology back.