Parabolic Trough report tackles lack of cost data for CSP plants

The new Parabolic Trough Report 2014: Cost, Performance and Thermal Storage published by CSP Today gives new clarity to cost and performance of concentrated solar power parabolic trough technology.

As detailed in CSP Today's Parabolic Trough Report 2014: Cost, Performance and Thermal Storage, the current global portfolio for the parabolic trough industry features over 65 operating plants and 95% of the global CSP installed capacity.

Yet the limited availability of reliable and up-to-date information on the cost and performance of actual parabolic trough projects has been a major hurdle to the technology's growth – with the companies involved reluctant to divulge the true costs associated with parabolic trough.

This lack of transparency regarding the real costs of the technology and its levelized cost of energy (LCOE) has been discouraging potential investors, who, according to the report, maybe turn their attention to alternative forms of renewable energy whose costs are better known.

In response to this challenge, the report uses a techno-economic tool developed in combination with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's proprietary System Advisor Model to investigate the LCOE of parabolic trough in eight burgeoning markets.

The report explains that "after analyzing each market, it can be seen that DNI is the not the only main driver that reduces the final PPA values, but also financing and local conditions have a strong impact on the economics of parabolic trough plants".

To view more information on the report visit

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