The greatest asset CSP technology has to offer, however, is the fact that the electricity it generates is dispatchable. This enables CSP plants to take advantage of their strengths in restructuring the energy mix to include renewable energy already today. CSP plants use concentrated sunlight to generate thermal energy. This can be stored rather easily in the form of liquid salt, for instance, before conventional steam turbines convert it into electricity. In other words, power can be retrieved and fed into the grid exactly when it is needed – for grid operators a significant advantage in terms of planning security. CSP technology offers ideal prospects in situations where the demand-oriented supply of electricity is extremely important for the stable operation of the grid.
As this graphic shows, the industry association ESTELA estimates the global potential for energy from CSP power plants to reach 1,100 gigawatts (GW) by 2050. 17.7 GW are now in operation, under construction or being funded. Source: ESTELA / Adaptation: dw
The grid-stabilizing capabilities of CSP technology are playing an important role in regions with rapidly growing energy demands like India and China, for instance, or countries like Morocco that have a fairly manageable grid capacity. After all, on the one hand, the goal is to make large volumes of energy available in a short period of time and, on the other, to prevent the grid from collapsing due to excessive energy input. CSP technology is thus needed. Phase one of India’s “Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission,” for instance, calls for seven CSP plants with a total of 500 MW of output to be built by 2013.
SCHOTT Solar has also shipped receivers to India – and for many other projects all over the world. Since 2006, the company has grown to become the market leader in the area of advanced absorber tubes and equipped large parabolic trough power plants in Spain and the United States, among other countries. “We see much greater potential for CSP technology, especially in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. The success story is therefore only just beginning,” Christoph Fark says. SCHOTT Solar intends to contribute to it mainly through innovative developments that enhance the efficiency of CSP power plant technology (see p. 17). The market is very receptive to these developments: the company will be shipping its one millionth receiver in the fall of 2012. <|
SCHOTT Solar Concentrated Solar Power