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The Potential Role of Concentrating Solar Power within the Context of DOE’s 2030 Solar Cost Targets

Concentrating solar power (CSP) could play an increasingly significant role in generating electricity in the contiguous United States by 2050 if the technology’s levelized cost of electricity can be lowered to goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2016. In a new reportPDF, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) used detailed modeling to estimate the impact of achieving DOE’s 2030 solar cost targets, with an emphasis on CSP systems. The results suggest that at such costs, CSP could play a larger role in the U.S. energy system.

“At 5 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2030, DOE has chosen an aggressive target for CSP,” said Mark Mehos, the CSP program manager at NREL and co-author of the report. “As greater levels of variable renewables, such as photovoltaics and wind, penetrate U.S. markets, the need for storage will grow. And CSP with built-in thermal energy storage can help fulfill that requirement.”

For more information, please read the full report.

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