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Concentrating Solar Power

Spain, U.S. seen dominating solar thermal market – GBI

With both countries having the presence of factors like increasing costs of fossil fuels, supportive government policies, and favorable weather, Spain and the United States are seen dominating the global solar thermal market.

According to a report by GBI Research, Spain has so far the largest market share for concentrated solar power, covering 65 percent of total installed capacity at 1,002 megawatts in 2011. The U.S., meanwhile, has 33 percent.

While entering the market only in 2007 with the construction of an 11-megawatt solar tower, Spain’s advantage of abundant sunshine and government support helped its market share grow to its present numbers.

The country also laid out a Renewable Energy Plan in 2005 that gave particular attention to solar and committed to the European Union’s 2020 agenda on emissions and renewable energy shares, giving the market a strong future in Spain.

On the other hand, the U.S. has been in the market since 1985 after building the first solar thermal plant capable of producing solar thermal electricity with commercial viability. Growth, though, has been conservative since then, but the GBI report predicts that total installed capacity of 508.5 MW in 2011 would reach up to 25,815 MW by 2020 if commitment is redoubled.

The increase is attributed to the U.S.’s plans to commission more major concentrated solar power projects throughout the following decade, including two projects in the state of Arizona.



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