Concentrating solar power in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: Achieving its potential

R. Pitz-Paal, A. Amin, M. Bettzüge, P. Eames, F. Fabrizi, G. Flamant, F. Garcia Novo, J. Holmes, A. Kribus, H. Van Der Laan, C. Lopez, P. Papagiannakopoulos, E. Pihl, P. Smith, H. J. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Concentrating solar power (CSP) is a commercially available renewable energy technology capable of harnessing the immense solar resource in Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (the MENA region), and elsewhere. This paper summarises the findings of a study by the European Academies Science Advisory Council which has examined the current status and development challenges of CSP, and consequently has evaluated the potential contribution of CSP in Europe and the MENA region to 2050. It identifies the actions that will be required by scientists, engineers, policy makers, politicians, business and investors alike, to enable this vast solar resource to make a major contribution to establishing a sustainable energy system. The study concludes that cost reductions of 50-60% in CSP electricity may reasonably be expected in the next 10-15 years, enabling the technology to be cost competitive with fossil-fired power generation at some point between 2020 and 2030. Incorporation of storage delivers added value in enabling CSP to deliver dispatchable power. Incentive schemes will be needed in Europe and MENA countries to enable this point to be achieved. Such schemes should reflect the true value of electricity to the grid, effectively drive R&D, and ensure transparency of performance and cost data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number03004
JournalEPJ Web of Conferences
Volume33
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Event2nd European Energy Conference, E2C 2012 - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 17 Apr 201220 Apr 2012

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