Concentrating Solar Power

Mehos, Mark
September 2008
AIP Conference Proceedings;9/12/2008, Vol. 1044 Issue 1, p331
Academic Journal
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) has the potential to contribute significantly to the generation of electricity by renewable energy resources in the U.S.. Thermal storage can extend the duty cycle of CSP beyond daytime hours to early evening where the value of electricity is often the highest. The potential solar resource for the southwest U.S. is identified, along with the need to add power lines to bring the power to consumers. CSP plants in the U.S. and abroad are described. The CSP cost of electricity at the busbar is discussed. With current incentives, CSP is approaching competiveness with conventional gas-fired systems during peak-demand hours when the price of electricity is the highest. It is projected that a mature CSP industry of over 4 GWe will be able to reduce the energy cost by about 50%, and that U.S. capacity could be 120 GW by 2050.


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