In many emerging markets solar PV now is considered a cost competitive source for increasing electricity production and for providing energy access.Nevertheless, markets in most locations continue to be driven largely by government incentives or regulations. In 2016, 110 MW of concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) capacity came online, bringing global capacity to more than 4.8 GW by year’s end. This was the lowest annual growth rate in total global capacity in 10 years, at just over 2%.
Even so, CSP remains on a strong growth trajectory, with as much as 900 MW expected to enter operation during the course of 2017. For the second year in a row, all new facilities that came online incorporated thermal energy storage (TES), which is now seen as central to the value that CSP technology can add by providing dispatch-able power to grids with high penetrations of variable renewable. Parabolic trough and tower technologies continued to dominate the market.
CSP furthered its push into developing countries that have high direct normal irradiance (DNI) levels and specific strategic and/or economic alignment with the benefits of CSP technology. In this respect, CSP is receiving increased policy support in countries with limited oil and gas reserves, constrained power networks, a need for energy storage, or strong industrialization and job creation agendas. Research and development – under way in Australia, Europe, the United States and elsewhere, continued to focus on improvements in TES.
Source: Renewables 2017 - REN21 (Renewable Energy Police Network for the 21st. Century)