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Development Trends and Economics of Concentrating Solar Power Generation Technologies: A Comparative Analysis

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  • Madlener, Reinhard

    () (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Mathar, Tobias

    (RWTH Aachen University)

Abstract

In this paper we compare development trends, economics and financial risks of alternative large-scale solar power generation technologies (parabolic trough, solar tower, and three different photovoltaic technologies). In particular, a number of European countries, Algeria and the US promote solar power generation. In oure study, we investigate the economic viability of the solar trough projects Andasol-I (Spain), Nevada Solar One (US), the solar tower projects PS-10 and Solar Tres (Spain), and the three PV projects Solarpark Waldpolenz (Germany), Parque Solar Beneixama (Spain) and Nellis Solar Power Plant (US). To this end, we employ a battery of economic indicators, such as net present value (NPV), return on investment (ROI), alternative discount rate (ADR), and amortization time (Ta), and also perform a detailed sensitivity analysis. We find that, in the absence of subsidization, current solar technologies cannot compete with conventional power plant technologies. Overall, we conclude that for realizing the Europe-Middle East-North Africa (EUMENA) Mediterranean ring connection, more research and development is needed on solar power generation technologies for making them sufficiently attractive on economic grounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Madlener, Reinhard & Mathar, Tobias, 2009. "Development Trends and Economics of Concentrating Solar Power Generation Technologies: A Comparative Analysis," FCN Working Papers 1/2009, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Sep 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2009_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Herrmann, Ulf & Kelly, Bruce & Price, Henry, 2004. "Two-tank molten salt storage for parabolic trough solar power plants," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 883-893.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dergiades, Theologos & Madlener, Reinhard & Christofidou, Georgia, 2012. "The Nexus between Natural Gas Spot and Futures Prices at NYMEX: Do Weather Shocks and Non-Linear Causality in Low Frequencies Matter?," FCN Working Papers 17/2012, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Sep 2013.
    2. Bernstein, Ronald & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Responsiveness of Residential Electricity Demand in OECD Countries: A Panel Cointegation and Causality Analysis," FCN Working Papers 8/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    3. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Homeowners' Preferences for Adopting Residential Heating Systems: A Discrete Choice Analysis for Germany," FCN Working Papers 9/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    4. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Challenges in the Evaluation of Ultra-Long-Lived Projects: Risk Premia for Projects with Eternal Returns or Costs," FCN Working Papers 13/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    5. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Multi-Commodity Real Options Analysis of Power Plant Investments: Discounting Endogenous Risk Structures," FCN Working Papers 22/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    6. Kraas, Birk & Schroedter-Homscheidt, Marion & Pulvermüller, Benedikt & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Economic Assessment of a Concentrating Solar Power Forecasting System for Participation in the Spanish Electricity Market," FCN Working Papers 12/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Concentrating solar power; CSP; profitability;

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