CSP with thermal storage will bridge dispatchable energy gap according to GlobalData. The company’s latest report ‘Energy Storage – A Key Determinant for the Future of Concentrated Solar Power Market’ reveals that retirements of coal based plants and increase in influx of intermittent renewable power sources in order to achieve climate goals provide potential market opportunity for CSP with thermal storage.
The influx of renewable power sources such as wind and solar backed by ambitious targets and plans to phase out coal- or decommission coal fleet to reduce carbon footprint by various countries will lead to an energy gap for dispatchable generation. CSP with energy storage has the ability to bridge the demand and supply gap for dispatchable electricity.
Global installed capacity for CSP was around 5.6 GW at the end of 2018, of which only 2.6 GW is with energy storage. In contrast, of the total CSP projects under various stages of development, 95.8% of the upcoming capacity has storage. Majority of the active CSP projects with storage are with a thermal storage capacity in the range of 6-10 hours. In case of the under-development CSP capacity, 62.8% is with storage of 10-13 hours and 14% has over 13 hour storage. This shows the increased importance given to long hours of storage by project developers and owners to not only provide stable and reliable power 24/7, but also reduce the cost of electricity generation from CSP by using longer duration of thermal energy storage.
Auction results over last few years indicated declining cost of generation for CSP projects with storage. The years 2017 and 2018 have been breakthrough years for CSP in terms of cost reduction with prices for projects expected to be commissioned from 2020 onwards to be in the range of $0.06/kWh to $0.12/kWh.