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Concentrating solar power: its potential contribution to a sustainable energy future.

Implementation: European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) under the management of the DLR

Year: 2011

Content: Solar-thermal power plants combine the benefits of grid stability through storage of power, high degrees of efficiency, and considerable local added value options, thus making them a reliable technology for the energy transition. This is emphasized in a study by the EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council), which was prepared by leading European scientists under the management of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

The study anticipates a 50 to 60 percent reduction of power generation costs in the next ten to fifteen years with a progression of the market introduction of solar-thermal power plants and corresponding research and development. Given the progress being made in technology at the moment and the price trend of fossil fuels, it can be assumed that CSP power will reach grid parity between 2020 and 2030.

Contrary to PV plants, solar-thermal power plants supply electricity on demand through the integration of a storage unit without having to fall back on fossil fuel power plants as a reserve. This is added value that will become more significant in the medium term, as photovoltaics and wind plants alone cannot guarantee a reliable supply according to the authors of the study.

Moreover, solar-thermal power plants offer a greater deal of local added value than PV, even in less economically developed regions. Looking at the MENA region in particular, the construction of CSP plants is expected to develop the economy and create local jobs.

You can find additional information on the study here: