Protermosolar incorporates the 2018 data to its report and corroborates the importance of concentrated solar power in electrical decarbonization.
The balanced distribution between photovoltaic and concentrated solar power would allow to supply the demand also at night and reduce the amount of discharges, all at a lower cost than the current one.
The study is based on real data of generation and demand, projected to 2030, and proposes a new mix with a reduction of its cost, emissions and the necessary support of conventional power plants.
The implementation of the new mix would entail multiple economic and operational advantages, including taking advantage of the spills in the storage tanks of the solar thermal power plants, as well as achieving a more efficient use of the electricity network, due to its complementary operation to the photovoltaic.
Protermosolar urges to continue increasing the power of solar thermal energy and biomass to face the renewable challenge in 2030.
Protermosolar has updated its study Transition of the Electricity Sector: Horizon 2030 incorporating the data of 2018 into its historical series and confirms the fundamental role of solar thermal energy in the process of energy transition and decarbonization of the economy.
In the future projected to 2030, according to the mix proposed by the employer, the contribution of renewable energy to electricity generation would be 84% at a cost below € 5c / kWh, confirming the results of the previous report. In addition, this high contribution of renewable energy generation proposed by Protermosolar would achieve the goal of 35% consumption of renewable energy in 2030, meeting the objectives of the EU.
The balanced distribution of solar power between photovoltaic and concentrated solar power is the key to the mix proposed in the report. For this, the employer recommends planning with differentiated dispatch profiles to renewable technologies betting on seasonal and hourly complementarity, while discarding coal, nuclear and part of the current cycle of combined cycles.
In addition, this mix would also allow a significant reduction in prices, since solar thermal systems would be more competitive compared to the cost of gas and emissions in the coming years, as well as a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and from renewable discharges.
These conclusions coincide with those obtained with the historical series until 2017, even though 2018 was the worst meteorologically speaking year for solar energy. However, the results would still be more robust if certain degrees of freedom were taken into account, which have not been included in this study, such as the use of interruptibility contracts, which could be used as safety parameters against the ordered decarbonisation process, or the correct management of hydropower based on seasonality, for the reduction of emissions, as well as proactive management of demand. All this would reinforce the conclusions of the study.
The solar thermal power plants provide another set of additional advantages for the economy such as the increase of GDP, employment and regional convergence, contributing also to a fair Energy Transition, thanks to the supply of components, equipment and services from Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia , … to the facilities in the south of the country.
How to get to 2030?
The mix proposed by Protermoslar aims to be a solid response to the challenge of the energy transition. For the employer, one of the basic lines of action to achieve this goal happens because photovoltaic energy is the technology that experiences exponential growth in the coming years and that, as they are closing conventional power plants the solar thermal power plants take over , accompanied by a more constant growth of wind power and biomass.
However, although their role would not be essential until a few years later, specific auctions of a few hundred solar thermal MW should be established to keep Spanish technology at the forefront of the world and be able to participate actively in the emerging foreign market.
Protermosolar is the association that represents the Spanish sector of the concentrated solar power industry and is made up of 50 members. Solar thermal technology, in which Spain is an international leader, has recently entered the world of renewable energies with strength and currently has great growth potential due to its manageability and storage capacity, due to its high employment creation local and for its potential to reduce costs.