Everything News Jobs Opportunities Events Products/Services
more
 
About
Go to Home
Sign Up Sign in

CSP Today

08 Nov 2011 10:11:59

Solar Power Group takes a creative approach towards cost reduction to power the CSP industry ahead



Still dependent on subsidies and feed-in tariffs, the CSP industry needs to find creative ways to become more competitive within the renewables sector. CSP Today spoke to Mauricio Rojas, head of business development at Solar Power Group, on the potential of hybridisation as a viable way to further market share

What is the next step for CSP and where should companies focus their efforts to further the industry and become more competitive?

The main challenge to overcome is the fact that CSP is still expensive and relies on subsidies or other support mechanisms. Under the current economic situation, CSP will certainly have more difficulties to find government support. Therefore, the industry has to work very hard and in creative ways to decrease its costs, both, LEC and Capex.

How do you see the industry changing and shaping within the next 5 years and how can it prepare to cope and consolidate?

One of CSP’s advantages is that it is based on simple concepts and erecting plants doesn't require high-tech materials; only glass, steel and off-the shelf elements are required. It is likely that we will see a "universalisation" of the technology where many local solutions will be developed with indigenous components and knowledge. This means increased competition and a “survival of the fittest” situation. The winners in this race will be those able to quickly adapt to the costs challenge and bring to life economically viable projects without external support.

What are the areas of application and markets where CSP will truly consolidate?

To survive the competition with PV, CSP has to focus its efforts in the areas where thermal energy is a priority. This can happen by taking advantage of thermal storage or hybridisation, where steam can be used with no distinction to produce electricity or during industrial processes. Therefore, CSP could benefit by presenting itself more or less independent from electricity and associating to other uses as well. Only 1/4 of the energy requirements are come in the form of electricity.

What is the future for hybridisation and what can it offer to the industry?

Coal will keep its dominant role in supplying energy within the next few years for several reasons such as availability, high demand to immediate energy, risks associated to nuclear energy, or simply to secure supply. Hybridisation offers the opportunity to mix the best of both worlds in order to create a cleaner, dispatchable and cost-competitive system of energy supply. Hybridisation is also a smooth way to transition towards the "new" solar energy supply, something that the power industry really appreciates. It is, therefore, a good strategy to strengthen the position of CSP against other types of clean energy.

What are the challenges around the hybridisation market for CSP?

The main challenge is to break the paradigm of lower solar portion. Systems in which the solar portion is low are seen as "dirty" or "not useful". But when applied in enough volume, they can make significant contributions to the energy mix. Given the sheer sizes of state-of-the-art power plants in construction or in planning stage, even a low solar portion could produce huge amounts of clean energy (or at least really displace the consumption of coal or other fossil fuels). This benefits shall be strongly presented to policy makers and final users, and the industry has to make the effort to explain to the society the benefits of mixing conventional power with solar, even in low amounts.

Which has been your company’s most important contribution to the industry´s development?

For a long time, Solar Power Group has been talking about the "solar boiler" concept; our goal is to supply steam to be used in several ways by our final consumers. We believe that CSP is beyond electricity generation. Slowly, we see more companies aligned in the same direction as we are; power producers and other types of users are becoming interested in a clean energy supply and this is something that the whole industry will benefit from.

Mauricio Rojas will be speaking in further detail about hybridisation along GDF Suez and Abantia at the CSP Today Sevilla Summit taking place on the 29 and 30 November. For more information about the summit send an enquiry.


Discussion Thread  

 


Related Categories

Clicking a category below will direct you to a list of related information

Skip Navigation Links.

CSP Today Community



Linked Items From CSP Today


  1. Torresol Energy’s Gemasolar tower plant represents one of the most important milestones in the...

    31 Oct 2011
  2. The Spanish association for the solar energy industry, Protermosolar, has announced that 4293 Km2...

    09 Sep 2011
  3. The international CSP community is set to meet this 29–30 November as CSP Today Sevilla Summit...

    08 Sep 2011
  4. South Africa's Group Five, an integrated construction services, materials and infrastructure...

    07 Apr 2011
  5. CSP markets report 2010 Products & Services

    More than 50 developers, component providers and CSP industry experts have participated in this...



Related Items From Everyone


  1. The 2016 study has 36 pages, 18 tables and figures in excel. Worldwide Refinery, Re-refinery, and...

    18 Mar 2016
  2. The Global Molten Salt Solar Energy Thermal Storage and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Industry...

    15 Mar 2016
  3. Powerway Renewable Energy Co. Ltd, the biggest manufacturer of mounting structures for utility...

    09 Aug 2012
  4. There is no doubt that what makes companies run is data. And increasingly, as workers become...

  5. An environmentally-friendly school facility has recently been opened in Cumbria, it has...

    11 Jul 2008



Go To Home

Resource Links

We're social: View Available Feeds Find out more! Leave us your feedback

RSS



We appreciate all feedback. Please leave as much or as little as you like about any aspect of this website.

If your message requires a response, please leave your email address.