SolarPACES is playing an essential role in the development of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies.
At certain moments during this 2014 summer the contribution of Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) to the Spanish demand was close to 10% and it was higher than 5% in many days in July and August on whole day basis.
But more important to point out is that the value proposition and distinct features of STE in comparison with Variable Renewable Energies (VRE) are being recognized and appreciated in countries and regions with urgent needs of power enlargement such as South Africa, Morocco, Chile, Middle East, India and certainly China.
The largest amount of VRE have been installed in industrialized countries where no additional backup was required regardless of the impact in the operation of the electrical systems, curtailments included.
But most of the new capacity is going to be installed in quick developing countries where the situation regarding backup is quite different. These countries must not only increase, but mainly multiply their installed capacity in the next years for meeting the demand needs at all times.
Therefore, this increase of installed capacity cannot be exclusively based in VRE plants as the evening peak has to be covered every day. Such investments in VRE must then be backed up by new combined cycles and this is why STE could already be considered a s the best choice in the Sun Belt countries.
Although there is still a large potential for further VRE plant deployment, policy makers everywhere will realise – sooner rather than later – the true market value of firm supply as delivered by the last generation of STE plants, besides their substantial positive macroeconomic impacts in their countries’ economies.
SolarPACES is playing an essential role in the development of STE technologies, gathering the relevant players in the sector – research centers and companies – everyyear and sharing the presenting the status of the technology and the situation in the different countries and regions. This time we will meet in China, a country with both huge sun potential and demand needs, which can provide an important push to this sector.
I want to wish you a very fruitful conference and an enjoyable stay in Beijing.
Luis Crespo, President of ESTELA