Spain and the US have fostered respectable CSP industries using very different types of incentives. Their experience offers valuable lessons to policy makers elsewhere.
By Jason Deign
If you are planning to create a viable CSP industry then you could do worse than see how Spain and the US have done it. The world’s top two solar thermal markets have achieved their positions using very different incentives, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.
In Spain, the support mechanism of choice has been the feed-in tariff (FiT).
Guaranteeing developers a given rate of return, above market rates, has helped catapult the Spanish CSP market ahead of any other in the world, currently boasting 72% of installed capacity globally, according to the national solar thermal industry body Protermosolar. CSP developers in Spain may benefit from a FiT in two different ways: fixed or variable. Under the fixed FiT, producers may sell energy at the fixed rate of EURO 0.269375/kWh for the first 25 years, which then drops to 0.215498/kWh thereafter. The variable option allows the CSP providers...