Along with its photovoltaic solar (PV) roadmap, the International Energy Agency also released a roadmap for maximizing concentrated solar's (CSP) global potential [pdf].
The two reports, released congruently at the Mediterranean Solar Plan conference in Valencia, Spain, depict the two forms of solar as working differently but harmoniously in providing the world with clean energy -- up to a predicted 9,000 Terawatts by 2050.
According to the report, in order for CSP to achieve its potential, a direct, coordinated effort is required by governments, scientists, industry, financing institutions, and the public. And the results could be enormous.
Concentrated solar power's primary function would be to provide energy for areas that have strong direct normal irradiance (dni) -- meaning, lots of sunshine and clear skies.
Some Key Findings:
- By 2050, with appropriate support, CSP could provide 11.3% of global electricity, with 9.6% from solar power and 1.7% from backup fuels (fossil fuels or biomass).
- This roadmap envisions North America as the largest producing and consuming region for CSP electricity, followed by Africa, India and the Middle East.
- The main limitation to expansion of CSP plants is not the availability of areas suitable for power production, but the distance between these areas and many large consumption centers.
Some Key Actions Required by Governments:
- Ensure long-term funding for additional research and development in: all main CSP technologies; all component parts; all applications; and at all scales.
- Facilitate the development of ground and satellite measurement/modeling of global solar resources.
- Support CSP development through long-term oriented, predictable solar-specific incentives. These could include any combination of feed-in tariffs or premiums, binding renewable energy portfolio standards with solar targets, capacity
payments and fiscal incentives.
- Streamline procedures for obtaining permits for CSP plants and access lines.
Thanks to thermal storage, CSP can produce electricity around the clock and will become competitive with base load power by 2025 to 2030.
The IEA expects concentrated solar power to become competitive for peak and mid-peak loads by 2020 in the sunniest places if appropriate policies are adopted.
Learn more about Solar Power on eBoom's Solar Energy Learning Page.
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