Headline: Making the sun shine at night: comparing the cost of dispatchable concentrating solar power and photovoltaics with storage

Sustainable electricity systems need renewable and dispatchable energy sources. Solar energy is an abundant source of renewable energy globally which is, though, by nature only available during the day, and especially in clear weather conditions. We compare three technology configurations able to provide dispatchable solar power at times without sunshine: Photovoltaics (PV) combined with battery (BESS) or thermal energy storage (TES) and concentrating solar power (CSP) with TES. Modeling different periods without sunshine, we find that PV+BESS is competitive for shorter storage durations while CSP+TES gains economic advantages for longer storage periods (also over PV+TES). The corresponding tipping points lie at 2–3 hours (current cost), and 4–10 hours if expectations on future cost developments are taken into consideration. PV+TES becomes only more competitive than CSP+TES with immense additional cost reductions of PV. Hence, there remain distinct niches for two technologies: PV+BESS for short storage durations and CSP+TES for longer ones.

Publication Year
2021
Publication Type
Academic Articles
Citation

Schöniger, F., Thonig, R., Resch, G., & Lilliestam, J. (2021). Making the sun shine at night: comparing the cost of dispatchable concentrating solar power and photovoltaics with storage. Energy sources, Part B: Economics, planning and policy, 16(1), 55-74. doi:10.1080/15567249.2020.1843565.

DOI
10.1080/15567249.2020.1843565
Links
https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6000615_4/component/file_6… https://zenodo.org/record/3939413
Staff involved
Projects involved
Market uptake of solar thermal electricity through cooperation (MUSTEC) Solar Thermal Power Plants: Generating transformation knowledge with open data (Open CSP)