American companies Abengoa, BrightSource Energy, and Torresol Energy have launched The Concentrating Solar Power Alliance, which is dedicated to educating U.S regulators, utilities and grid operators on the benefits of concentrating solar power and thermal energy storage, for reliable low carbon electricity mix and for promoting economic growth.
“CSP technology is the only renewable resource that is capable of harnessing the world’s most abundant fuel source – the sun – to produce reliable, cost effective, and dispatchable electricity,” commented Tex Wilkins, the Alliance’s executive director. “We believe CSP, with the ability to dispatch electricity when it is needed, is critical in meeting the energy challenges facing the United States and the world.”
The goal of the Alliance is to promote the increased acceptance, adoption and implementation of CSP plants in the US, as well as promoting policies to encourage CSP technology deployment.
More than 1GW of CSP is in operation worldwide and estimations by The International Energy Agency, say that more than a dozen countries have CSP projects under construction or in development including China, India, Morocco, Spain and the U.S.
Benefits of CSP include its abilities to produce electricity at peak demand during the late afternoon or early summer evening hours or winter mornings, and with thermal energy storage to provide a flexible and dispatchable clean energy source. It can also be incorporated into fossil fuel power plants as “hybrids” for cleaner baseload power.