Shedding light on solar technologies'A techno-economic assessment and its policy implications
Solar power technologies will have to become a major pillar in the world's future energy system to combat climate change and resource depletion. However, it is unclear which solar technology is and will prove most viable. Therefore, a comprehensive comparative assessment of solar technologies along the key quantitative and qualitative competitiveness criteria is needed. Based on a literature review and detailed techno-economic modeling for 2010 and 2020 in five locations, we provide such an assessment for the three currently leading large-scale solar technologies. We show that today these technologies cannot yet compete with conventional forms of power generation but approach competitiveness around 2020 in favorable locations. Furthermore, from a global perspective we find that none of the solar technologies emerges as a clear winner and that cost of storing energy differs by technology and can change the order of competitiveness in some instances. Importantly, the competitiveness of the different technologies varies considerably across locations due to differences in, e.g., solar resource and discount rates. Based on this analysis, we discuss policy implications with regard to fostering the diffusion of solar technologies while increasing the efficiency of policy support through an adequate geographical allocation of solar technologies.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Zarza, Eduardo & Valenzuela, Loreto & León, Javier & Hennecke, Klaus & Eck, Markus & Weyers, H.-Dieter & Eickhoff, Martin, 2004. "Direct steam generation in parabolic troughs: Final results and conclusions of the DISS project," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 635-644.
- Bagnall, Darren M. & Boreland, Matt, 2008. "Photovoltaic technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4390-4396, December.
- Trieb, Franz & Müller-Steinhagen, Hans & Kern, Jürgen, 2011. "Financing concentrating solar power in the Middle East and North Africa--Subsidy or investment?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 307-317, January.
- Fthenakis, Vasilis, 2009. "Sustainability of photovoltaics: The case for thin-film solar cells," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(9), pages 2746-2750, December.
- Neij, Lena, 2008. "Cost development of future technologies for power generation--A study based on experience curves and complementary bottom-up assessments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2200-2211, June.
- Purohit, Ishan & Purohit, Pallav, 2010. "Techno-economic evaluation of concentrating solar power generation in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3015-3029, June.
- Fthenakis, Vasilis & Mason, James E. & Zweibel, Ken, 2009. "The technical, geographical, and economic feasibility for solar energy to supply the energy needs of the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 387-399, February.
- Rubin, Edward S. & Yeh, Sonia & Antes, Matt & Berkenpas, Michael & Davison, John, 2007. "Use of experience curves to estimate the future cost of power plants with CO2 capture," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt46x6h0n0, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
- Salomons, Roelof & Grootveld, Henk, 2003. "The equity risk premium: emerging vs. developed markets," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 121-144, June.
- Nemet, Gregory F., 2006. "Beyond the learning curve: factors influencing cost reductions in photovoltaics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3218-3232, November.
- Izquierdo, Salvador & Montañés, Carlos & Dopazo, César & Fueyo, Norberto, 2010. "Analysis of CSP plants for the definition of energy policies: The influence on electricity cost of solar multiples, capacity factors and energy storage," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6215-6221, October.
- Kevin Ummel & David Wheeler, 2008. "Desert Power: The Economics of Solar Thermal Electricity for Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East," Working Papers 156, Center for Global Development.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:10:p:6422-6439. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.