Global Potential of Concentrating Solar Power (2009)

This paper presented at the 2009 SolarPaces Conference in Berlin sets out an analysis of the potential of concentrating solar power (CSP) on a global scale. The paper starts with assessing the level of direct normal solar irradiation needed for CSP plants which is combined with an analysis of the suitable land resources based on various site criteria.

This assessment shows that Africa, Australia and the Middle East have the largest potential areas followed by China and Central & South America. The paper also looks into the CSP cost model which is being compared to the cost of electricity produced by fossil fuels.

The theoretical results of the calculation of the solar-to-electricity efficiency of CSP stations in relation to the total land area required are very positive. The paper concludes that although the costs of these CSP systems remain very high at this moment, these plants can become a competitive option of electricity supply in the medium term.

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Source: DLR – German Aerospace Center



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