Solar thermal energy has again exceeded 5 TWh of electricity generation by adding 5,166 GWh in 2019, representing an increase of 16.8% over 2018 and 3.8% compared to the average of the last 5 years.
One more year, the concentrated solar power generation in Spain has proven its reliability, reaching punctual contributions of about 10% and 2.1% of the total electricity generation in Spain in 2019, consolidating its image of reliable technology after more than 10 years of operation of part of its fleet.
During the past year, the solar thermal system has strengthened its positioning as an essential technology to face the energy transition, thanks to the thermal storage that will be provided by all future power plants, which will be able to start dispatching after sunset, replacing part of the photovoltaic production and reducing the need fossil backup overnight.
Protermosolar highlights that the current solar thermal installations, some of them with more than a decade of operation, continue to operate without showing signs of degradation and incorporate operating experiences that make them more efficient.
According to Protermosolar, Spain has, unlike other European countries, the possibility of deploying, due to the availability of sites and capacity of its companies, a renewable, manageable and storage technology, such as solar thermal power plants, which will facilitate the achievement of Renewable and decarbonization target planned in the PNIEC by 2030.
For Protermosolar, these data show the confidence that must be had in this technology and the right thing to propose a deployment, such as that planned in the PNIEC, in this next decade to reach the objectives by 2030. In this sense, implement storage systems in those plants that currently do not have it or hybridize some plants with biomass, they would reinforce their value for the system. Likewise, incorporating photovoltaic self-consumption in current plants would increase its synchronous and manageable production. Regarding the future fleet, its complementary photovoltaic office would contribute to the integration of renewable energy into the system, optimizing existing and future transmission infrastructures, and contributing to the stability of the network.
The new concentrating solar power plants, equipped with large storage systems and dispatching electricity from sunset, would alleviate the ramps that would cause the photovoltaic production to fall daily in the afternoon and would largely prevent emissions that would otherwise , would be associated with the combustion of gas in the combined cycles. But, in addition, the storage tanks of the solar thermal power plants could be used to capture the spills of wind and photovoltaic technologies, avoiding investments of more than 20,000 million euros in battery systems or new pumping facilities. The solar thermal power plants could even act as a strategic reserve available to the system operator for times of maximum demand, since they can maintain an important part of their capacity for days, weeks or months, when required with absolute availability.