CSP technology in a nutshell
The global concentrated solar power (CSP) market is expected to see more than 17 percent growth and reach USD 8.92 billion worth of investments by 2025 (Read more), while installed capacity is predicted to exceed 24 GW, according to study conducted by study by Global Market Insights, Inc. (Read More)
The US, Spain and Morocco are some of the largest CSP markets in the world, but the UAE is joining the fray, having recently broke ground on the world’s biggest concentrated solar power project, the 4th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
The project which is based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model will have a production capacity of 700 megawatts, and represent an investment of AED 14.2 billion.
CSP systems comprise a wide-array of mirrors to focus sunlight onto a central tower where a molten salt solution is heated to extreme temperatures. The heated fluid is then used to produce steam that drives a steam turbine connected to an electrical power generator.
The transformative technology is ideal for supplementing power throughout the day, as the dispatchable nature of the technology allows CSP systems to store solar energy as heat and use that heat to generate additional power during peak hours or on through the night.
While CSP comes with a lot advantages, there are still a few challenges the technology is facing.
CSP technologies are only commercially viable as large-scale projects and require significant amount of land. Furthermore, CSP systems only work with direct irradiation and can only be installed in specific and limited areas. Finally, CSP power plants have many critical mechanical and chemical components, making them complex and expensive to deploy.
Despite these challenges, this cutting-edge energy source has led to a revolutionary change in the traditional energy industry and changed the face of the energy market.