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  April 21st, 2021 | Written by

Parabolic Trough Technology to Gain Traction in Concentrated Solar Power Market

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The rapid adoption of clean energy across the decentralized grid network is projected to add impetus to the global concentrated solar power market expansion in the foreseeable future. Governments worldwide are focusing on improving the usage of sustainable energy by introducing various policies and reforms.

Likewise, high integration of the thermal energy storage technology, as well as the FDI’s and private investments in the Asia Pacific & the Middle East regions to deploy new concentrated solar power plants, will boost industry share.

The global market has been witnessing robust demand for sustainable electricity, along with mounting investments in solar integrated power grids. Furthermore, the advancements in technology to use the solar receivers with increased thermal performance, the large-scale integration of renewable energy, as well as the rapid sustainable electrical network construction will contribute to notable concentrated solar power market growth over the projected timeframe.

The energy demand across the globe has been constantly rising. Several businesses are making medium- and large-scale investments to develop solar generation farms, which in turn, can drift the regulatory policies & consumer tendencies towards solar technologies. Concentrated solar thermal systems will further gain high prominence over the coming years, due to the restructuring of various trade policies as well as investment flows across the developing economies.

Based on technology, the global concentrated solar power market from the parabolic trough segment is slated to witness remarkable traction in years to come, which is attributable to the rising number of investors, coupled with the utility inclination towards this technology. The segmental growth will also be bolstered by the shifting focus towards the advancements of thermal energy storage options and subsequent development of solar receivers to improve the collector field thermal performance. Additionally, growing R&D activities to adopt storage technology with high absorption rates and longer receiver life cycle will augment the integration of this technology.

In the parabolic trough CSP systems, the solar energy is concentrated by the parabolically curved and trough-shaped reflectors on a receiver pipe above a curved mirror surface. The heat energy is then deployed in the thermal power block to generate power in a conventional steam generator. These accelerating concentrated solar power advantages will amplify the concentrated solar power market outlook over the forecast spell.

In terms of segmentation by capacity, the ≤ 50 MW segment is set to gain significant momentum in the years ahead. The segmental expansion can be credited to the capability of the CSP units to complement the escalating energy demand across the commercial sector as well as their high applicability in small-scale industrial process heat systems to lower the level of fossil fuel consumption.

Furthermore, rising installations of solar thermal power plants across space-constrained areas, coupled with the stringent environmental regulations to ensure carbon reduction, will create ideal growing conditions for the overall concentrated solar power market over the projected timeframe. For example, in 2019, the Indian Government set 7.2% as the solar purchase obligation for the power distribution companies, which will be increased to 10.5% by 2021.

With regards to storage, the global concentrated solar power industry from the without storage segment will depict a considerable growth rate, driven by the low installation costs and complexity. Minimal capital expenditure has also led to a reduction in maintenance and operational costs. Additionally, a paradigm shift towards the installation of these without storage CSP plants due to high capacity utilization and power reliability will boost business growth.

The competitive landscape of the concentrated solar power market consists of companies namely Acciona Energy, Suntrace, Enel Green Power, Abengoa Solar, and ACWA Power, among others. These companies are targeting towards expanding their regional footprint and product portfolio by implementing strategies such as M&A and business expansions.

For instance, in March 2021, ENGIE reached an agreement to acquire a 100-MV concentrated solar power plant from Abengoa, which is equipped with a molten salt storage system and parabolic trough technology to enable 5.5 hours of power storage and deliver electricity during peak demand.