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Solar Tower Report 2014: Cost, Performance and Thermal Storage

  • Published:
  • 200+ Pages
  • CSP Today

‘Strategically plan your commercial trajectory and optimize profitability in the increasingly internationalized solar tower market'

Solar tower technology currently accounts for 4% of the global installed CSP share, totalling at 98 MW across 7 markets. Crucially, however, the global project pipeline indicates that solar tower technology is set to play an increasingly prominent role within the CSP landscape both in terms of MW capacity share - accounting for 23% of the MW capacity under construction and 38% of the MW capacity under development - and market activity - the collective reach of solar tower plants in operation, under construction and under development will permeate 14 markets . This promising growth trajectory coupled with claims that solar tower could represent CSP's most viable route towards grid-parity has meant that the eyes of the industry are increasingly focusing in on this technology.

Yet, for the CSP industry, the success of the internationalization of solar tower technology alongside the growth of the technology in established markets will be highly contingent upon a greater degree of transparency surrounding market specific cost data from CAPEX to OPEX, and performance characteristics and capabilities. For CSP industry stakeholders, a greater degree of cost and performance transparency is critical to assessing market activity, strategizing commercial trajectories and optimizing profitability from the most promising of CSP technologies. Through industry-validated cost information, localized techno-economic analysis and inter-market benchmarking, this report brings unprecedented clarity on solar tower technology across eight global markets, enabling you to separate the fact from the hype. Critical Market Specific Cost Data: Receive the most up-to-date, industry validated cost data breakdowns from CAPEX to OPEX in defined optimal solar tower plants across 8 markets (Chile, India, Morocco, Spain, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE and USA).

  • Realistic Power Purchase Agreement (PPA*) Calculations: Determine the PPA of Solar Tower technology by market, benchmark emerging CSP markets against the traditional key markets and identify the sensitivity features which will impact upon the PPA and to what extent.
  • Energy Yield and Performance Output Data & Analysis: Identify and benchmark the market specific energy yield and performance characteristics, including solar field thermal output, online parasitics, net energy, total operating hours, solar-to-electricity efficiency and water consumption.
  • The Evolution of Thermal Storage (TES): Use the global project pipelines to understand how and to what extent TES is being increasingly incorporated into Solar Tower plants, and gain insight into the latest R&D initiatives in TES tipped to reduce cost and optimize performance.
  • Market Share of Solar Tower Technology: Strategize your investment in and gauge your profit from Solar Tower by understanding the long-term market share, growth and viability of this technology, including market-by-market pipelines and key comparisons with other CSP technologies.

*The PPA tariff is the merit of metric used in this report given that it represents not just the cost of generating electricity but the real electricity selling price where tax payments and investors returns have been factored in. it is therefore the real price at which a solar tower plant could sell the electricity meeting the equity investor's targets.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Abbreviations

Definitions

Executive Summary

1. Solar Tower& Thermal Energy Storage Overview

  • 1.1. Solar Tower Technology
  • 1.2. Thermal energy storage
  • 1.3. Market Status
  • 1.4. Thermal Energy Storage: Market Status
  • 1.5. Industry drivers and barriers
  • 1.6. Technical pros and cons

2. Solar Tower Technology

  • 2.1. Key parameters
  • 2.2. Key components
  • 2.3. System Design

3. Thermal Energy Storage

  • 3.1. Types of storage systems
  • 3.2. Thermal Energy Storage Media
  • 3.3. Value of CSP with thermal energy storage
  • 3.4. TES in Solar Tower Power Plants

4. Cost and Performance Modeling

  • 4.1. Methodology
  • 4.2. Cost and performance by market
  • 4.3. Market comparison

5. Trends and Developments

  • 5.1. Heliostat Design
  • 5.2. Receivers& Towers
  • 5.3. Heat Transfer Fluids
  • 5.4. Power Block
  • 5.5. Storage
  • 5.6. Plant Layout
  • 5.7. Cooling

6. Conclusion

7. References

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