Renewable Energy Essentials: Concentrating Solar Thermal Power
Concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) is a re-emerging market. The Luz Company built 354 MWe of commercial plants in California, still in operations today, during 1984-1991. Activity re-started with the construction of an 11-MW plant in Spain, and a 64-MW plant in Nevada, by 2006.
There are currently hundreds of MW under construction, and thousands of MW under development worldwide. Spain and the United States together represent 90% of the market. Algeria, Egypt and Morocco are building integrated solar combined cycle plants,
while Australia, China, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates are finalising or considering projects.
While trough technology remains the dominant technology, several important innovations took place over 2007-2009: the first commercial solar towers, the first commercial plants with multi-hour capacities, the first Linear Fresnel Reflector plants went into line.