Concentrating Solar Power 2011: Technology, Costs and Markets

Scaling activity in the southwestern U.S. along with multiple project commissions in Spain have afforded Concentrating Solar Power players the opportunity to push beyond the industry’s two pillar markets and toward global development, which in turn has attracted a series of investments from large-scale energy conglomerates and financiers.

Still, as industry optimism grows, Concentrating Solar Power players are increasingly facing challenges from other renewable energies, and more specifically from PV counterparts, who have leveraged PV’s declining costs and adaptability to create a 14 GW global market. While concentrated solar energy will have trouble competing directly with PV on a cost per kWh basis, CSP may be able to differentiate itself with its ability to provide more stable, dispatch-able power by integrating thermal storage.

This report is a detailed study of the current CSP market, with a project-by-project analysis that presents the strengths and weaknesses of CSP’s four major technologies: parabolic trough, power tower, dish-engine, and linear Fresnel reflector. In addition, the report offers cost (per watt and per kWh), and market share for each CSP technology, and includes over 80 profiles of the industry’s leading technology and development companies.

Value-Added Elements

* Global demand forecasts by technology through 2020
* LCOE forecasts by technology through 2020
* Analysis of technology characteristics (land usage, water usage, capacity factor) affecting LCOE
* In-depth profiles of leading technology, development and supply players globally
* CSP project tracker, with full details on PPA, regulatory status and costs by project

Questions for Competitive Decision-making

* How will competing renewable energy technologies affect CSP’s growth through 2020?
* Which CSP technology will see greatest LCOE declines through 2020?
* Beyond the U.S. and Spain, which will be the next markets to attract the CSP industry?
* Which developers and which manufacturers will lead in global market share?

Brett Prior is a Senior Analyst with GTM Research, focusing on solar energy. Prior to joining GTM Research, Brett served as the Director of Business Development for Solasta, a thin-film solar startup backed by Kleiner Perkins. While in business school, Brett worked with a solar project developer on CSP, CPV, and PV solar farms in southern Europe. Brett also worked as a summer associate in the strategy group at Evergreen Solar, a manufacturer of silicon PV modules with over $200M in revenue. Before business school, Brett spent six years working for mutual fund companies as a buyside equity research analyst covering energy and other sectors. Originally from the U.S., Brett lived in England for two years, where he earned an MBA with distinction from London Business School. Brett holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Yale University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).