The European Union’s total CSP capacity could reach as high as 5 GW by the year 2030 if all the pieces fall into place, a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found.
Spain’s first CSP plant went into operation in 2008, and it is still the only European country with commercial CSP plants. It has 2.3 GW of CSP capacity, accounting for almost half of the current 5 GW of global capacity. CSP activity has shifted from Spain and the United States to developing countries since 2015, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) noted in its 2017 annual report. Activity has continued in Europe on a pilot scale, including the construction in France of a 9 MW Fresnel facility, and the construction in Denmark of a hybrid biomass-CSP facility incorporating 17 MW of CSP, the REN21 reported noted.
Under IRENA’s base-case scenario, Europe will have 4 GW of CSP capacity by 2030. But under its REmap study, which analyses what is technically possible and cost-effective from a societal perspective by 2030, that figure will rise to 5 GW.
The REmap analysis – conducted by IRENA in close collaboration with the European Commission, as well as with national and international experts – concluded that the EU can double the renewable share in its energy mix from some 17% in 2015 to 34% in 2030 if the right enabling frameworks are put in place.