A while back, we interviewed Belen Gallego, Founder & Director at CSP Today and PV Insider, on the future of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Now, researchers at CSP Today have completed a guide to CSP’s current role and future potential in the US energy mix. According to lead researcher Jack Ahearne, “there are a number of compelling reasons why it makes sense for the US to pursue leadership in the development of CSP,” and “the new CSP Today guide puts these reasons into context by highlighting the unique benefits that CSP can offer the US energy market for years to come”. Please click here to view the guide. Also see below for a few highlights:
- “The USA has always played a leading role in the development of solar thermal or concentrated solar power,” with “a total of 1.3GW of capacity currently under construction” right now, including the “392MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), being developed by BrightSource Energy.”
- “[C]ompelling reasons why it makes sense for the US to pursue leadership in the development of CSP” include the availability of “high-irradiation desert areas suitable for the development of large-scale CSP projects,” the fact that “CSP is a resilient and low-risk energy source with lower environmental impact than traditional generation technologies,” and also that “[t]he thermal storage capability of a CSP plant is one of the main features facilitating the integration of CSP into the grid.”
- Another advantage is that “adding CSP into the equation allows the total solar contribution to go up from 20% to 25%, with less wastage,” by “helping the grid cope with the intermittency associated with other types of renewable energy, such as wind and PV.”
- Finally, according to Dr Thomas Mancini, “former CSP program manager for Sandia National Laboratories and now head of TR Mancini Solar Consulting,” is that “CSP really is set up for utility-scale applications”.