The concentrated solar energy market, which has been stagnant over the past decade, is set to expand and play a significant role in the energy transition, according to a new study released by Rethink Technology Research.
The market for concentrated solar energy is expected to expand through 2030 owing to the global demand for hydrogen and other private sector decarbonisation efforts.
More concentrated solar energy projects are expected to deployed in green hydrogen complexes and in industrial heat processes, with the technology proving its ability to provide heat at as much as 1,000 degrees Celsius. This allows the use of the technology in decarbonising hard-to-decarbonize sectors including steelmaking, cement production, and mining.
The application of the technology in heat processes will mainly be concentrated in California, China, Australia, Chile, Spain and Southern Africa, according to the study.
The application of the technology is expected to generate over $10 billion per annum by 2030.
China is expected to lead other countries in using concentrated solar to provide cost-effective energy storage for grid reliability. China has plans to use the technology as peak shaving to enable the use of solar PV during the night. The country is expected to build more than a third of the global total capacity of concentrated solar energy for energy storage applications by 2030.
The study states that concentrated solar thermal energy storage will play a role in most of the planned global green hydrogen complexes to be built in Australia, the Atacama, central Asia, and other desert locations.
However, factors including inadequate funding and the absence of government policies pushing the energy transition, are expected to hinder the accelerated adoption of concentrated solar energy on a global scale.
Other factors that are expected to delay rollout in promising countries include unstable political environments. For instance, although Lybia, Syria and Iraq have perfect weather conditions for massive rollouts and have commissioned/contracted projects, the three countries are expected to delay rollout until the 2030s due to civil wars.
Find out more about the report.