The global capacity of concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) witnessed an increase in the year 2011 with more than 450 MW capacity getting installed resulting in the total CSP capacity reaching almost 1,760 MW, according to REN21 report.
According to the report, Spain, which has been leading the CSP race for quite some time, accounted for the vast majority of capacity additions. The country installed 450 MW of CSP in 2011, bringing the world’s concentrated solar power capacity to 1,760 MW. The United States (US) continued as the second largest CSP market in terms of total capacity, ending 2011 with 507 MW in operation.
The industry activity expanded its attention from Spain and the US to new regions, wherein several developing countries launched their first CSP plants. Elsewhere around the world at least 100 MW of capacity was in operation at year’s end. Egypt brought 20 MW on line at the end of 2010, as did Morocco with 20 MW, followed by Algeria (25 MW), Thailand (9.8 MW), and India (2.5 MW), which all launched their first CSP plants in 2011. India added the first segment of a solar power tower in Rajasthan that may eventually be a 10 MW plant, due for completion by early 2013.
Parabolic trough plants continued to dominate the market, but new central receiver and Fresnel plants were commissioned during 2011 and others were under construction. Although CSP faced challenges associated with rapidly falling photovoltaic prices and the Arab Spring, which slowed development in the Middle East and North Africa region, significant capacity was under construction by year’s end.