How Will Concentrated Solar Power Systems Affect the Environment and Markets?

  • By: David
  • Date: August 10, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Concentrated solar power systems generate solar energy by concentrating sunlight and converting it to heat. The heat generated drives a thermochemical reaction or heat engine. This power can then be used to create electricity. Concentrated solar power systems have numerous advantages and are currently used in multiple countries. But how is this technology going to affect the environment and markets? Let’s find out. The technology is not that far from reality, but is it cost-effective?

Concentrated Solar Power Systems

Technology

Concentrated solar power technology generates power by concentrating sunlight into a directional stream. This stream of focused light is then converted to heat, which powers a thermochemical reaction. The result is a green alternative energy source that can power your home or business. But how does this technology work? Read on to learn how concentrated solar power systems work. And what’s so special about them? Continue reading to learn about the benefits of this technology and how you can install your design.

The efficiency of a concentrated solar power system depends on the technology used to convert sunlight into electrical energy. Other factors affecting efficiency include operating temperatures of the receiver and heat rejection. Moreover, the optical system that focuses on sunlight also adds a lot of losses to the equation. Although the Carnot efficiency represents the theoretical limit of the system, real-world scenarios are unlikely to achieve this level of efficiency. However, this doesn’t mean that solar panels cannot generate energy.

Costs

The Solar Energy Technologies Office recently updated its vision for lowering the cost of concentrating solar power. The 2030 goals included cutting the Levelized energy cost by 50% and focusing solar power to $0.03 per kilowatt hour.

These targets address several challenges, including grid integration and critical market barriers. If these goals were achieved, solar energy would be one of the cheapest sources of electricity, spurring growth across the U.S.

Installed costs are low compared to other renewable energy sources, which are often less expensive. CSP typically costs between 15 and 22 euro cents per kilowatt hour. CSP has a more extended payback period compared to other renewable energy technologies.

Usually, it takes three years to pay off the cost of capital and operating costs. However, these costs can be significantly lower than those of conventional power sources.

Environmental Impact

While the potential impacts of concentrated solar power are positive, some are not so favorable. The construction of extensive solar facilities requires clearing vast tracts of land, causing soil compaction and a greater risk of erosion and runoff. Concentrated solar power systems can use hazardous materials, including hydraulic fluids, coolants, and lubricants. However, proper planning and maintenance can minimize these impacts. Therefore, careful site selection and monitoring are essential to reduce adverse effects.

In addition, the study also focuses on the net environmental impacts of the process. This includes climate change, photochemical oxidant formation, acidification, and primary energy use. The ecological effects of concentrated solar power are thus quantified. This enables a comparison of the project’s environmental effects and its counterparts. In addition, the cost of risk mitigation is assessed. A detailed cost estimate can be developed by integrating the analysis results and the impact assessment.

Markets

The global market for concentrated solar power (CSP) is dominated by the Asia Pacific, which accounted for over two-thirds of the market in 2019. This growth is attributed to growing investment in CSP in China, where Morocco ranks among the leading users. Favorable government policies primarily drive the market in Europe. By 2027, growth is expected to be more than two-thirds of the global market. But there are several challenges.

Government support for renewable technologies and increasing demand for electricity are the primary drivers of the concentrated solar power market. In addition, concerns about air pollution and global warming fuel increased interest in solar-to-electricity. However, the heavy costs of CSP may hinder the growth of the market in the future. This report will provide an in-depth analysis of the need for concentrated solar power. In addition, this report will assist in making informed decisions for your business.

Previous Post

How Does a Solar Panel System Work?

Next Post

The Future Potential of Solar Energy