Research and development, improving the value chain and optimizing the economy of scale: CSP Today investigates cost trend forecasts for the coming decades.
By Marco Poliafico
The commercial deployment of the CSP technology is in its infancy and therefore it is widely agreed that the opportunities for cost reductions are essential . This article does not aim to provide a full reference of the current technical innovations, but rather to give an overview of the main areas where CSP technology can achieve cost saving in the short to medium term alongside the factors that can support downward cost trends. On the other hand, there is still high uncertainty around cost estimates because of the ongoing learning curve and therefore the focus will be more on the expected percentages of reduction rather than on absolute values.
Graph 1 illustrates estimated cost trends for some CSP technology options over the current decade (2010 - 2020) . Findings indicate potential savings of between 20% (parabolic trough with wet cooling and no thermal energy storage in 2015) and...