Publication - Deliverable 8.1: Case Studies analysis of prospects for different CSP technology concepts

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Deliverable 8.1: Case Studies analysis of prospects for different CSP technology concepts
Market Uptake of Solar Thermal Electricity through Cooperation (MUSTEC)
Franziska Schöniger & Gustav Resch
Published in
May 2019
The prospects of different CSP technology and operational concepts are analysed through representative case studies in this new insightful MUSTEC report. Using one central element of an overall modelling system – i.e. the Balmorel model, a detailed power system optimization model – a model-based assessment has been undertaken, geographically constraint to Spain, serving as a suitable model case for CSP use in Europe. The analysis is split into two parts: Two case studies serve to shed light on (future) prospects of CSP as either system contributor (case study 1) or as generator in accordance with profiling needs (case study 2).

It is demonstrated that CSP needs certain conditions to fully exploit its potential in an electricity system. In the current (2018) Spanish electricity system, the most profitable way for a CSP plant is to sell its electricity production during the day. Furthermore, the use of a storage system is also highly dependent on the electricity price dynamics of a market, i.e. the correlation between solar radiation and peak price levels.

Systems with a high share of non-dispatchable fluctuating renewables lead to the highest relative market values for CSP (up to 144%): wind has a strong impact, but CSP is most profitable in systems with a high solar PV share. In this setting, average electricity prices are decreasing and CSP is able to shift its electricity generation to times of low PV and wind infeed, and, therefore, higher price levels. However, average electricity prices are the lowest in these sensitivity analyses. This fact also lowers overall revenues. In a market setting where in parallel to increased shares of PV and wind also CO2 and natural gas prices are rising, a high market value of CSP (up to 111%) and high average electricity prices lead to high revenue levels for CSP. In a possible future electricity system representing these features, CSP could play out its main operational advantages – dispatchable, renewable, and CO2-free generation of electricity.