Despite Solar Thermal being hit hard by the economic downturn, 2009 was the year for CSP.


The solar thermal market has been hit hard by the economic downturn and the subsequent decline in demand from the construction sector. Several companies have filed for bankruptcy, including the market pioneer, Rayosol. For yet another year, Chinese manufacturers’ experienced steady growth and sales of Chinese manufactured vacuum coolers are starting to overtake sales of flat plate collectors.

The reduced government support for solar thermal in Australia is expected to result in reduced sales in 2010. Other governments are expected to reduce subsidies as part of austerity measures.

Despite this, 2009 was the year for CSP, with the MENA region making significant plans to invest in the space and the UAE now building a 100 MW plant. Overall plants are getting bigger and utilities are starting to take an interest, as prices are dropping. Once the domain of parabolic trough technology, solar towers are starting to make inroads into the sector, with the US investing heavily into R&D on towers. Towers have a lower water footprint than trough systems, making it ideal for water-stressed regions, and a significantly higher efficiency and storage capacity than the other three CSP technologies. eSolar, a tower manufacturer, announced major supply contracts in China and India.

As well as solar towers, solar thermal storage is a major area of CSP research, with more and more planned projects in the US having storage capacity. Molten salt is likely to remain the dominant.

Outline of the Report:

• The main technologies

• The different components of the technologies

• The development of solar thermal technology

• The world market for direct use solar thermal appliances

• Major direct use solar thermal country profiles

• Solar thermal power generation technology

• The current status of CSP solar thermal electricity generation, with profiles of the major markets

• Costs and future cost development of STP solar thermal power

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