Concentrated solar power twinned with thermal energy storage will bridge a “dispatchable energy gap” according to a new report.

The study from analytics company GlobalData forecasts a significant rise in CSP combined with storage.

GlobalData power analyst Pavan Kumar Vyakaranam explained: “The influx of renewable power sources such as wind and solar, backed by ambitious targets and plans to phase out or decommission coal to reduce the carbon footprint by various countries, will lead to an energy gap for dispatchable generation. CSP with energy storage has the ability to bridge the demand and supply gap for dispatchable electricity.”

GlobalData’s report reveals that worldwide installed capacity for CSP was around 5.6 GW at the end of 2018, of which only 2.6 GW is with energy storage. However, it adds that of the total CSP projects currently under development, 95.8 per cent include an element of storage – the majority involving a thermal storage capacity in the range of 6-10 hours.

It states that 62.8 per cent is with storage of 10-13 hours and 14 per cent has over 13 hour storage. “This shows the increased importance given to long hours of storage by project developers and owners to not only provide stable and reliable power 24/7, but also reduce the cost of electricity generation from CSP by using longer duration of thermal energy storage,” says Vyakaranam.

“Auction results over last few years indicated declining cost of generation for CSP projects with storage. The years 2017 and 2018 have been breakthrough years for CSP in terms of cost reduction with prices for projects expected to be commissioned from 2020 onwards to be in the range of $0.06/kWh to $0.12/kWh.”