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This report on Solar Thermal Energy analyzes the technology, discusses solar thermal plants financing, discusses hybrid solar thermal power plants, and provides profiles of solar thermal companies and case studies. A diagrammatic representation of the value chain and suppliers in the solar thermal industry is included, explaining the solar thermal power process in detail.
This report also analyzes the advantages and challenges facing the solar thermal industry.
Solar thermal power plants are forecast to undergo a real boom in the coming years and decades. The sunny regions of Asia, the USA, and North Africa provide an almost inexhaustible space potential. Experts have long agreed that solar thermal technology will enable the replacement of conventional, fossil fuelled, or nuclear power plants in the long term. Recent studies by Greenpeace and A.T. Kearney confirm the increasing competitiveness.
Solar-thermal electricity (STE) is competitive. Within the next ten years, there will be an opportunity to generate this economically and free of subsidies. In doing so, it will compete with fossil fuels. Moreover, STE represents an increasingly more attractive addition to the renewable energy portfolio, of which it has a relevant share. The thermal solar capacity installed worldwide will ideally reach 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2025. This could create up to 130,000 jobs.
International studies have also announced the continuous rise of solar-thermal power plants. The cost of generating STE electricity can be reduced by up to 30 percent by 2015 and even by more than 50 percent by 2025. As such, solar-thermal electricity can contribute significantly to reaching certain energy and environmental targets, for example the EU's 20-20-20 goal.
Table of Contents :Executive Summary 7
What is Solar Thermal Energy? 8Introduction 8History of the Industry 8Market Overview 11How a Solar Thermal Power Plant Works 11Different Types of Solar Thermal Collectors 14Low Temperature Collectors 14Medium Temperature Collectors 17High Temperature Collectors 18System Designs 19Parabolic Trough 19Solar Power Tower 22Parabolic Solar Dish 26Fresnel Reflectors 28Linear Fresnel Reflector Technologies 30Fresnel Lenses 31MicroCSP 31CLFR Power Plant 32Role of Heat Exchange in Solar Thermal 33Role of Heat Storage 34Steam Accumulator 34Molten Salt Storage 34Graphite Heat Storage 35Phase Change Materials 35Usage of Water in Solar Thermal 36Solar Resource and Land Usage 37Converting Solar Energy to Electrical Energy 40
Solar Thermal Value Chain and Suppliers 41
Benefits of Concentrating Solar Power 42Overview 42Environmental Sustainability 42Economic Sustainability 42
Hybrid Solar Thermal Power Plants 44
Advantages of Solar Thermal Power 45
Challenges to Commercializing Solar Thermal Power 48Solid Financing through Long‐term Power Purchasing Guarantees 48Power Grids 48No Limit on Power Plant Size in Laws Regarding the Supply of Energy to the Grid 49Regulations Regarding Power from Renewable Energies 49End Tax Disadvantages 50Technology Quota 50
Technical Challenges Facing the Industry 51
Research and Development 53
Economics of Solar Thermal 54Levelized Cost Overview 54Impact of Solar Thermal on Emissions, Economies, and Employment 56
Financing Solar Thermal Power Plants 61Overview 61General Sources of Capital 62Types of Financing and Ownership Structure 63Cash Flow Related Lending 64Risk Sharing 64Off Balance Sheet Financing 64
Reliability of Solar Thermal Plants 66
Solar Thermal versus Photovoltaics 68
Solar Thermal versus Fossil Fuels 69
Requirement for Large Areas of Land 71
Industry Forecast 72
Case Study: Solar Thermal Power in Mojave Desert 75Overview 75Solar One and Solar Two 78Solar Energy Generating Systems 79Nevada Solar One 79Copper Mountain Solar Facility 80Nellis Solar Power Plant 80Sierra SunTower 81Ivanpah Solar Power Facility 81Mojave Solar Park 81AV Solar Ranch One 81Social and Economic Impact of the Mojave Desert Solar Thermal Plants 82Impact on Desert Soil Ecosystems 82Impact of Solar Thermal Power Plants on the Mojave Desert 83Carbon Loss 84Loss of Future Carbon Sequestration 85Other Potential Impacts 85
Major Solar Thermal Power Plants 87Alvarado I 87Andasol Solar Power Station 88Archimede Solar Power Plant 90Extresol Solar Power Station 91Ivanpah Solar Power Facility 91Kimberlina Solar Thermal Energy Plant 93Liddell Power Station 94Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center 95Nevada Solar One 95PS10 Solar Power Plant 97PS20 Solar Power Plant 99Shiraz Solar Power Plant 101Sierra SunTower 101Solar Energy Generating Systems 104Solnova Solar Power Station 106Themis Solar Power Plant 107Valle Solar Power Station 107Yazd Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power Station 108
Major Players 109Abengoa 109Acciona Energy 111Ausra/ AREVA Solar 112eSolar 114Sierra SunTower 115BrightSource Energy 117Solel Solar Systems 119Solar Millennium 120Sunrgi 121
About the Publisher 152
Figures and Tables
FiguresFigure 1: Parabolic Trough 21Figure 2: Concentrating Solar Power System 21Figure 3: Solar Two 25Figure 4: eSolar's 5MW Sierra SunTower Facility 25Figure 5: Parabolic Solar Dish Concentrating the Sun's Rays on the Heating Element of a Stirling Engine 27Figure 6: CLFR Power Plant 32Figure 7: Solar Resource in the US 37Figure 8: Solar Resource in Europe and Northern Africa 38Figure 9: Solar Resource in China 39Figure 10: Power Plant Size: Lowest Costs at 200 MW 49Figure 11: Development Potential for Renewable Energies 50Figure 12: Annual Electricity Sales by Sector (Billion Kilowatt Hours) 56Figure 13: Business as Usual Scenario for Power Generation 57Figure 14: Seasonal Correlation of Solar Thermal and CA Grid Demands 58Figure 15: Ausra Line Focus Demonstration in Australia 70Figure 16: The Solar Two Project in California Uses a Field of Mirrors to Focus Solar Energy onto a Central Boiler to Produce Steam & Electricity 70Figure 17: Future Opportunities for Solar Thermal Power Plant Technology 74Figure 18: Single Tower Solar Thermal Plant Structure 76Figure 19: Andasol Solar Power Station 89Figure 20: PS10 Power Plant 98Figure 21: PS10 Solar Power Plant in the Foreground, with the PS20 in the Background 100Figure 22: Array of Heliostats 103Figure 23: Portions of Four of the Five SEGS III through VII Plants Located at Kramer Junction 105Figure 24: First Three Units of Solnova Two Towers in the Background are the PS10 and PS20 Solar Power Stations 106Figure 25: First Commercial Concentrating PS10 Solar Power Tower Operating near the City of Seville 122Figure 26: Solar Thermal vs Solar PV 123Figure 27: Solar Thermal Technologies 124Figure 28: Investment in Solar Technologies 124Figure 29: Future Solar Thermal Project by Technology 125
Table 1: Energy Cost/Delivery via Current CLFR Solar Array Technology 59Table 2: Features of Solar Thermal Power Systems 125Table 3: CSP Components and Raw Materials 126