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GSR 2015

65 02 RENEWABLES 2015 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT Other countries with existing CSP capacity that did not bring new facilities on line in 2014 include the United Arab Emirates (100 MW), Algeria (25 MW), Egypt (20 MW), Morocco (20 MW), Australia (13 MW), and Thailand (5 MW).17 Several additional countries had small pilot plantsi in operation, including China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, South Korea, and Turkey.18 The year saw tangible progress for CSP in new markets, including in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. China, for example, started construction on its first commercial CSP project: the 50 MW Qinghai Delingha plant, based on parabolic trough technology.19 CSP activity continued in the Middle East where, in 2014, Kuwait selected preferred bidders for a 50 MW plant and advanced the development of further capacity based on Integrated Solar Combined Cycle technology (ISCC)ii .20 An ISCC plant also was at an advanced planning stage in Saudi Arabia.21 In Israel, as of early 2015, a 121 MW plant was being planned, as was a 10 MW hybrid CSP-biomass plant with thermal storage.22 Farther south, in Namibia, CSP planning remains in a preliminary phase, while elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, construction commenced on Chile’s first grid- scale CSP facility.23 The Cerro Dominador plant (110 MW) in Chile’s Atacama Desert is expected to be on line in 2017; with its 18 hours of thermal storage capacity, it is expected to provide baseload power to mining operations.24 Australia is home to a handful of potential CSP projects, although they faced an uncertain funding and policy landscape in 2014.25 Further examples of hybridised CSP technologies appeared in 2014, including the planned ISCC plants in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.26 In the United States, construction is under way on the world’s first CSP-geothermal plant, while construction of the Cogan Creek Solar Boost project in Australia (which will supplement existing coal-based power generation capacity) continues to advance, although on a delayed schedule.27 A small pilot CSP-biomass hybrid system came on line in Italy, and another was under planning in India.28 Hybridisation of CSP is being driven by a range of motivations, including the reduction of emissions at fossil fuel plants and the improved economics and reduced variability provided by CSP with thermal energy storage.29 ■■ CSP INDUSTRY The industrial consolidation experienced in 2013 continued in 2014, fuelled in part by the ongoing stagnation of the previously dominant Spanish market and by an expected deceleration in the United States after a bumper year.30 French linear Fresnel specialist AREVA confirmed plans to close its CSP business, after experiencing significant losses.31 The move was seen as a blow to the wider commercial advancement of linear Fresnel technology. Schott Solar announced a re-organisation of its production set-up and a halt in receiver manufacturing at its Mitterteich plant in Germany due to low demand; production of glass-metal seals at the facility will continue.32 The top companies in 2014 included Abengoa, Acciona, ACS Cobra, Elecnor, Sener/Torresol Energy and FCC (all Spain); Brightsource and Solar Reserve (both United States); ACWA Power International (Saudi Arabia); and Schott Solar (Germany). All were involved in either one or a combination of activities including project development, construction, ownership, operations and maintenance, and manufacturing.33 Abengoa Solar maintained the world’s largest portfolio of plants in operation or under construction, with equity in 25% of the capacity that was added in 2014, and in around 60% of the capacity under construction at year’s end.34 Swiss company ABB exited the CSP market in 2013 with the sale of its shares in Novotec Solar, but its French counterpart, Alstom, became increasingly involved in the sector during 2014.35 Also in 2014, the Saudi Arabian government and privately owned Saudi conglomerates continued a range of strategic acquisitions of international CSP companies and established strategic alliances with research organisations.36 Thermal energy storage (TES) using molten salt is in commercial use in Spain and the United States. Given the growth of variable solar PV and wind power, and the role that CSP with TES can play in grid reliability, CSP research continued to focus heavily on the improvement of TES systems, and on the evaluation of alternative heat transfer media.37 TES solutions under development and/or evaluation in 2014 included: solid-state concrete heat storage; high- and low-temperature metal hydride beds for low-pressure heat storage (potentially allowing longer material life cycles and avoiding freezing of the heat-transfer fluid); the use of sand in a fluidised bed for heat storage; and the use of phase-change materials to achieve higher energy densities.38 Solar forecasting also is becoming an increasingly important research focus at a number of laboratories and research institutes, which are developing and refining methodologies for predicting short- and medium-term weather patterns and operating plants accordingly.39 The development of cost- effective methods for accurately measuring solar resources is also a high-priority research area.40 CSP continued to face challenges from falling solar PV prices in 2014, and it remains more expensive than many other renewable power generation technologies.41 However, cost reduction and optimisation strategies (including a trend towards larger plants and greater economies of scale, as evidenced by the opening of two of the largest CSP plants in the world, Ivanpah and Mojave) are leading to improvements in overall costs of deployment. Abengoa reported an approximate halving in electricity costs at new plants in South Africa, relative to older plants operating in Spain, while ACS Cobra noted its experience that CSP with storage has the potential to compete with natural gas, given the right DNI levels.42 ACWA also reported competitive pricing for its parabolic trough and tower plants under construction, or due to enter construction, in Morocco.43 i - Note that CSP market capacity data in this report are based on commercial plants only, and do not include demonstration/pilot facilities. ii - ISCC technology uses both CSP and natural gas.

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