Definition of Concentrated #Solar Power
Concentrated solar power technologies use mirrors to concentrate (or focus) the sun’s light #energy and convert it into heat to create steam to drive a turbine that generates electrical power. Concentrated solar power plants produce electric power from mirrors that create this concentrated solar power, concentrated from the fact that the sunlight is focused. Heat from these mirrors is directed through a traditional generator for energy distribution. U.S. plants have operated for over 15 years in large areas where solar radiation can produce electricity at marketable rates.
Concentrated solar power has proven a dynamic benefit to favorable government incentives, especially when providing a low-cost alternative to many fossil fuels. CSP systems also work with the storage of solar power during the day, so that there is no need to return to fossil fuels when there is no sunlight such as night time or overcast periods. CSP has a broad application among large corporations like utilities, automotive, pharmaceutical, metal processing, refineries, hospitals, military bases, textile, and food and beverage companies.
Types of Concentrated Solar Power
Trough systems include U-shaped mirrors, large and tilted upward to the sun, with pipes running oil through the center. The reflectors concentrate sunlight on the pipes to heat the oil as much as 750°F, which boils water, creating steam to run conventional turbines and generators.
Power tower systems use many large, flat mirrors (or heliostats) to concentrate sun rays onto a receiver on top of a tall tower. Here the concentrated solar rays heat a fluid, like molten salt, up to 1,050°F, immediately creating steam for electricity production or accumulated for later usage. Molten salt holds heat well, so it has the ability for days of storage before conversion to electricity, assisting with the need for electricity at night or on overcast days.
Dish or engine systems use mirrored dishes about 10X larger than residential satellites. They concentrate sunlight onto a receiver mounted at the focal point of the dish. The dish tracks the sun across the sky, capturing the highest amount of sunlight. The receiver collects the light to provide heat for tubes in an external combustion engine containing helium or hydrogen gas. Extreme heat expands the gas to drive the engine pistons drives the pistons, turning a crankshaft, then driving an electric generator.
Current Size of the National CSP market
The U.S. CSP market for 2015 was valued at over $12 billion. Government solar initiatives across the country include tax rebates, financial assistance programs and net metering to help with cost savings. In 2011, the DOE introduced SunShot Initiative, encouraging use of solar energy by increasing affordability through entering studies along with public and private partners.
CSP market – Global Numbers
The global CSP market via trough systems through 2015 was valued at over $27 billion. Both reduced cost and increased efficiency have helped with the reliance on this solar technology. Power tower made up more than 10% of the 2015 CSP global market due to effective capacity, low cost and heat storage capabilities. Once example includes the Crescent Dunes facility in with power towers able to store 10 hours of energy and the ability to supply solar power to 75,000 U.S. homes.
Anticipated Regional Market Growth for CSP
Spain’s CSP market expansion is expected due to its high direct irradiance rate and favorable climatic condition for solar plants. Market share is anticipated to grow over 3.5GW by 2025. Already by 2013, Spain had 3.1% of total electricity produced by photovoltaics, and another 1.8% with CSP plants, and a number of government initiatives create the push for extended market growth in the near future.
Chile’s CSP market share is anticipated to have the greatest growth, over 27%, due to a strong pipeline of existing and upcoming projects. With favorable climatic conditions including right radiation the industry in their country will be likely to continue improving and growing in coming years.
By 2025, Morocco’s CSP market is expected to overcome $5 billion. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy introduced a $9 billion national solar energy plan for the installation of 2GW of additional solar energy production across Morocco in the next two years.
India’s concentrated solar power 2015 market was already over a billion dollars, and with rising demand the expected growth for their market is both fast and large. Additionally, China is expected to experience over 20% growth during this period. With the existing tax benefits, net metering and feed-in tariffs, business initiatives will help China push solar and other sustainable resources strongly in coming years.
The South African CSP market is anticipated to be over 1GW by 2025. While developing CSP projects to stimulate the renewable energy, they anticipate 18GW contribution to global capacity by 2030 with 1GW of CSP.
Anticipated Global Market Growth by 2025
Global CSP market is expected to grow at over 17% CAGR to surpass $120 billion by 2025. Shifting trend from conventional fuel to solar and other clean energy fuel will augment industry landscape. Strict government norms toward reduction of greenhouse gas emission will further stimulate the solar power industry landscape.
2. Informational reference: http://solareis.anl.gov/guide/solar/csp/
3. Market reference: https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/concentrated-solar-power-market