Concentrated Solar Power Quietly Makes a Comeback

| June 24, 2019

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Concentrated solar power (CSP), a renewable energy technology that has more or less dropped off the radar in the U.S., is quietly becoming competitive elsewhere. A recent analysis of power generation costs from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed that CSP fell more steeply in cost last year than any other renewable technology. It declined 26 percent year on year, double the rate seen in onshore wind and PV, and has dropped 46 percent since 2010. IRENA said the rapid drop in CSP prices last year “should be treated with caution” because of the limited number of projects going ahead in 2018. At the same time, though, CSP deployment is set to rise in China this year, making a rebound in average global costs unlikely. Once again, IRENA urged caution with the prediction because it was based on data from just five plants due to come online between 2020 and 2021. But industry insiders are confident the technology can become significantly more competitive.

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