Global concentrated solar power (CSP) installations have witnessed a CAGR growth of 24.43% from 765MW in 2009 to 5.4GW in 2018. Spain alone accounts for over 42% of CSP installations in the world.
Compelo Energy profiles the top five concentrated solar power producing countries based on operational CSP capacity.
Spain – 2.3GW
Spain has 53 concentrated solar power projects, with the biggest being the 200MW Solaben Solar Power Station in Logrosán. Other major CSP plants in Spain include the Solnova Solar Power Station in Sanlúcar la Mayor, the Andasol solar power station in Guadix and the Extresol Solar Power Station, all of which have a capacity of 150MW and are based on the parabolic trough technology.
Although, Spain remains as a dominant player in concentrated solar power generation, the country did not add any new capacity since 2013 because of a moratorium decreed by the government in 2012, owing to high costs and other factors.
The European country, however, plans to more than double its concentrated solar power capacity by 2025 to 4.8GW under a ten-year energy plan. Further, Spain aims to achieve 7.3GW of installed capacity in concentrated solar power by 2030.
US – 1.76GW
The US has a total of 52 CSP projects, the biggest being the 392MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California. Based on solar power tower technology, Ivanpah is also the world’s second largest CSP project by capacity.
Another massive CSP project in the US is the 354MW Solar Energy Generating Systems, also located in California, but based on the parabolic trough technology. The other major concentrated solar power plants in the US include the 280MW Solana Generating Station in Arizona and the 280MW Genesis Solar Energy Project in California.
No new CSP generation capacity has been added in the US since 2016, however. The last commissioned CSP project in the country was SolarReserve’s 110MW Crescent Dunes project, which, upon commissioning in late-2015, became the world’s biggest operating molten-salt power tower CSP project.
Morocco – 530MW
Morocco is home to the world’s biggest CSP project – the Ouarzazate Solar Power Station, which alone has a capacity of 510MW. Also known as the Noor Power Station, the Moroccan CSP project is located in the Drâa-Tafilalet region. The African nation has four other operating CSP projects with a combined capacity of 20MW.
The $9bn Ouarzazate Solar Power Station, which comprises three CSP plants (Noor I, Noor II and Noor III), had entered operations in February 2016. Owned by the Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy, the CSP project, which is based on the parabolic trough technology, can meet the power consumption needs of up to 1.1 million Moroccans.
The plant is, however, set to lose its rank as the world’s largest CSP project to a 700MW under-construction project in Dubai, which will be equipped with both the parabolic trough and the solar tower technologies.
South Africa – 400MW
Concentrated solar power plants account for 13.5% of South Africa’s overall solar power capacity. The country added 100MW of new CSP capacity in 2018, taking its overall installed capacity in CSP to 400MW. It, further, targets to install 1GW of CSP capacity by 2030.
The major operational CSP plants in South Africa include the 100MW KaXu Solar One in Northern Cape, the 100MW Kathu Solar Park, the 50MW Bokpoort CSP, and the 50MW Khi Solar One. Located in the Humansrus Solar Park, Northern Cape Province, the 100MW Redstone CSP project is the major facility that is currently under construction in the country. It will feature a 12-hour molten salt thermal energy storage system.
In July 2018, the South African power utility scrapped a 100MW CSP project named Kiwano, after a prolonged delay to commence work on the facility citing huge costs involved in the project. The Kiwano CSP plant was supposed to come online in 2014.
India – 229MW
India’s CSP capacity accounts for a small percentage of its total installed solar capacity of 27GW.
Reliance Power’s 100MW Dhursar CSP plant in Pokhran tehsil in Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan, is one of the projects commissioned in recent years in the country. Built with an investment of $341m, the project is one of the world’s biggest CSP projects based on compact linear fresnel reflector (CLFR) technology, which was provided Areva Solar.
Other major CSP plants in India include Godawari Solar Project and Megha Solar Plant, both of which have a capacity of 50MW. The Godawari Solar Project was commissioned by Godawari Green Energy in September 2013. Constructed with an investment of $145m, the facility was expected to displace approximately 11.3 million tons of CO2 a year.