The use of CSP technology for electricity production

Currently, the most concrete application that CSP plants find use in is the production of electricity.

Also, in the medium to brief term, it is predicted that this will be their main application. Similar to all the other forms of renewable energy that have been introduced recently, to affirm themselves, the CSP plants must face the hard competition as regards the energy generation costs.

The presence of a growing market for ‘green energy’, which calculates a form of economic incentive, allows to overcome, in favourable cases and taking into consideration the growing cost of fossil fuel energy, the competition gap compared to traditional products.

To acquire market quotations it is necessary to reduce the production costs and to improve the market value of the energy produced. As for the cost reduction, two main modalities can be adopted: the reduction in the specific costs of investment and the increment of production efficiency. The improve­ment in the market value can be achieved by making the electrical energy pro­duction less dependent on the solar source variability. The introduction of a storage system or the use of an integrated solar-combustible fossil system is indispensable.

It must be stressed that reduction in the investment costs, improvement in the efficiency and independence from the solar source variability are contrast­ing aspects. Achieving a winning compromise in the course of time is very necessary, but it will necessarily leave space for specific innovations (as it hap­pens in the automobile technology or, in a more persistent way, in the Aeolian technology) [45].

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